(1903 - 1970)
Maud Lewis was active/lived in Canada. Maud Lewis is known for naive landscape-snowscene painting.
Biography from the Archives of askART
Maude Lewis was born in Ohio, Yarmouth Country, Nova Scotia. She
started painting Christmas cards with her mother and then sold them on
the streets of Yarmouth. When her parents died she went to live with an
aunt in Digby, Nova Scotia. In 1938 she married Everett Lewis and
moved to a small one-room cabin near No.2 Highway west of Digby, at a
place called Marshalltown. Her husband sold fish from village to
village and she sometimes sold some of her cards. He encouraged
her to paint and bought her artist's supplies and cut small pieces of
plywood that would allow her to paint with her polio-afflicted arms and
arthritic condition. She passed her days painting in the doorway
of her house and people began to know her and to buy her work.
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Her story soon became famous; in 1965 an article in the Moncton Times
referenced her story. The same year CBC-TV's Telescope produced the
programme "The Once-Upon-a-Time World of Maude Lewis" that featured her
life and paintings and also included comments by Bill Ferguson and
Claire Stenning, owners of the Ten Mile House Gallery, and Halifax
artist John Cook [1918 - 1984].
In 1967 work by Maud Lewis was included at the Centennial Exhibition of
Primitive Art in New Brunswick at the Beaverbrook House, Saint
In 1970 she died at the Digby General Hospital. Some of her
paintings are in the White House and the Legislative Buildings of the
Province of Nova Scotia. Some collectors of her paintings include
Robert L. Stanfield (former premier of Nova Scotia) and President
Richard Nixon, among many others. Her use of color and style was
admired for its naturalist approach, both technically and thematically;
she did not mixed colors but used them straight out of the tube and she
mostly painted simple everyday life scenes of Nova Scotia.
"About This and That - The Passing of Maude." Digby Courier 6 Aug. 1970.
"Digby artist dies; her primitive style paintings in the White House." Mail Star (Halifax) 1 Aug. 1970.
"Digby's Artist, Maude Lewis, Laid To Rest." Digby Courier 6 Aug. 1970.
"Digby's Artist, Mrs. Maude Lewis Dies." Chronicle-Herald (Halifax) 1 Aug. 1970.
"Maude in Hospital." Digby Courier 27 Mar. 1969.
"Once Upon-A-Time World of Maude Lewis." Moncton Times 20 Nov. 1965.
"Telescope Visits Painter Maude Lewis of Digby." Yarmouth Herald 24 Nov. 1965.
"The Maud Lewis Touch." Chronicle Herald (Halifax) 6 Aug. 1970.
Barnard, Murray. "The Little Old Lady Who Paints Pretty Pictures." Star Weekly (Toronto) 10 Jul. 1965.
MacDonald, Colin S.. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists. (Volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker) Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2009
McCoy, Doris. "Frail Woman with A Body Brush." Atlantic Advocate (Fredericton) Jan. 1967.
Vowel, Jean. "The Sketch Pad." Times (Port Alberni) 1 Dec. 1965.
Source: Canadian Women Artists History Initiative* - http://cwahi.concordia.ca/sources/artists/nameSearch.php?artist=lewis
"The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis", Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, 1997
Source: Canadian Encyclopedia (online) - http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=M1ARTM0011321
* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see
Submitted by M.D. Silverbrooke
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