Norval Morrisseau

Norval Morrisseau described himself as a “born artist” whose earliest memories involved a compulsion to draw. He was a prolific artist and published author, as well as a cornerstone of the Indigenous art movement known as the Woodlands School.

Morrisseau earned international acclaim for his work, and was dubbed the “Picasso of the North” by world-renowned artist Marc Chagall who, together with Pablo Picasso, visited a Morrisseau exhibition in 1969.

Morrisseau received numerous honorary degrees, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1978. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, received the Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award, and was the first Indigenous artist to have a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada, which has many of his works in its national collection.

Morrisseau’s work was also exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. In recognition of his achievements and contributions to the Indigenous community, he was awarded a Great Eagle Feather, and was appointed the Grand Shaman by the Ojibwa.

Morrisseau passed away in December 2007, but his legacy as a Canadian treasure endures.

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