Lot Sale Results

Maud Lewis
March 2014 - 2nd Session Online auction

Lot # 101

Maud Lewis
1903 - 1970 Canadian

Boats in the Harbour
oil on board
9 x 12 in  22.9 x 30.5cm

Acquired directly from the Artist
Private Collection, California

The year 1965 was a key one for Maud Lewis. After 27 years of painting and selling her work she was finally famous - in fact, she was Digby County’s most famous citizen that year. What made her famous? Two things: an article in The Star Weekly by Murray Barnard entitled The Little Old Lady Who Paints Pretty Pictures and a CBC telescope program on her work that went right across the country. Despite her fame, no commercial gallery became involved to take her work. However, tourists continued to request her popular images. By August of that year, Lewis had changed her signature on her paintings from “Lewis” to “Maud Lewis”. It was not until the 1980s that the first commercial exhibition and sale of her work took place, more than a decade after her death, at the Manuge Gallery in Halifax.

It took 27 years for Lewis to find fame, and it took a further 27 years before the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia mounted the exhibition The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis. It opened on a January evening in 1997 and the gallery was packed with her admirers, including Premier John Savage, who spoke eloquently about Lewis and her work. The exhibition toured the country for two years from coast to coast, and more than half a million people - a significant attendance number for Canada - viewed the show. The following year, the Lewis home was installed in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, along with many of her paintings on loan. In 2000, Maud was included in the book Canadian Art: From Its Beginnings to 2000 by Anne Newlands, and in 2008 she was included in A. K. Prakash’s book Independent Spirit: Canadian Women Artists, further signifying her important and unique contribution to Canadian art history.

Since The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis exhibition, collections, large paintings and early works have surfaced. This fine collection of paintings was acquired directly from Lewis by a Maryland couple that summered in Nova Scotia. The couple later moved to California and this is the first time the collection has returned to Canada since their original purchase from the artist.

We thank Alan Deacon, a historian and expert on Maud Lewis, for contributing the above essay.

Estimate: $4,000 ~ $6,000 CAD

Sold For: $10,530.00 CAD (including buyer's premium)

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