Morrisseau's Signature
by Bryant Ross

nmTitlePage.jpg (362308 bytes)A lot has been written about Norval Morrisseau's signature. Some have declared themselves experts and have offered detailed studies of his handwriting. I am not an expert in signature analysis, but I have done years of research on Morrisseau's paintings. I have been privy to many examples of authentic Morrisseau signatures on his works of art and other documents. What I have found is an over all in-consistency in his signature. This, no doubt, has made an accurate analysis very difficult.

I will offer here some examples of signatures that I know to be authentic.

Pictured left is the title page of my copy of "The Art of Norval Morrisseau". When I asked Norval to sign this book for me the first thing he did was cross out the names of the authors, Jack Pollack and Lister Sinclair and write B.S. beside them. He had always said that he did not like the text in this book. He felt that nether of these people really understood where he was coming from. He had hoped to write his own book someday. He followed this by writing "by Norval Morrisseau" in reference to the book.

After writing my name he began drawing the 3 small figures. Of course I was amazed as I thought that he would only sign his name. He initialed the drawings and added his name in syllabics. As an after thought he added the date at the bottom.

At the time he signed this for me I did not realize how important this was as the page has signatures in English and Syllabics as well his initials. Note the difference between the "N" and "M" in the signature and initials. These were both done at the same time, but are very different.

Click the picture above for a larger version.

More examples will be added to this soon.


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