As the national museum of human history, the Canadian Museum of Civilization is committed to fostering in all Canadians a sense of their common identity and their shared past. At the same time, it hopes to promote understanding between the various cultural groups that are part of Canadian society.
Arms: Paly Argent and Azure per fess paly wavy counterchanged overall a representation of the astrolabe of Samuel de Champlain Or.
Crest: A wreath Argent and Azure rising out of a Coronet of Maple Leaves Argent a representation of a copper displaying the Beaver crest of Chief Ninstints of the Haida people framed with a corona of eagle feathers all Proper.
Motto: Multae culturae una patria
Supporters: Dexter a representation of the Inuit underwater spirit Sedna her finger joints producing fish styled by Manasie Akpaliapik; Sinister a representation of the Algonquian Mishipeshu by the name Asticou styled by Norval Morrisseau, both spirits diving into a whirlpool all Proper.
Gatineau, QC, December 7, 2007 – The Canadian Museum of Civilization expresses its regret at the passing of Ojibwa artist Norval Morrisseau, who died Tuesday in Toronto at the age of 75.
Morrisseau is recognized for his unique and innovative visual vocabulary that gave birth to the Woodland (Anishnabe) art movement in the late 1950s and that continues to serve as an inspiration to many young artists.
One of the most celebrated Canadian Aboriginal artists, his works have been exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and here at the Museum of Civilization, among many other locations.
Lee-Ann Martin, curator of Contemporary Canadian Aboriginal Art at the Museum, is currently President of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society, an organization that is researching and developing a catalogue raisonné of all of Morrisseau's paintings, estimated to be between 8,000 and 10,000 works.
"Norval Morrisseau (Copper Thunderbird) was first inspired by the spiritual and physical power of his Ojibwa cultural traditions," stated Ms. Martin. "Over his lifetime, his bold and original interpretations of this artistic landscape inspired all who viewed his art. We will miss him greatly."
Today, the Museum maintains the world's largest public collection of Morrisseau's works, with over 130 pieces reflecting his perception of Ojibwa traditions and modern realities. One of his important large-scale paintings, A Separate Reality, is displayed in the CMC's First Peoples Hall, and many pieces from the collection were featured in the National Gallery of Canada's 2006 Morrisseau retrospective, Norval Morrisseau, Shaman Artist.