Saturday, October 6, 2012

Norval Morrisseau: The Early Years, 1967

»In 1967, Canadians joined together to celebrate Canada's 100th birthday. The Centennial Committee commissioned Norval Morrisseau to paint a monumental mural for the Indians of Canada pavilion during Expo 67 held in Montréal. Pavilion commissioner, Andrew Tanahokate Delisle, Chief of Caughnawaga (Kahnawake) First Nations, was responsible to provide visitors "with an honest, sincere depiction of Aboriginal life in Canada". Prior to completion, Norval Morrisseau walked off the job (which he left in Carl Ray's hands) over objections raised by government organizers to Morrisseau's portrayal of the bare-breasted Earth Mother. Remaining true to his vision, Morrisseau's dedication read, "In honor to my Grandfather Potan Onanakonagas and to our Ancestors - Copper Thunderbird".
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