Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia to honour Maud Lewis for Heritage Day

Born in rural Nova Scotia in 1903, Maud Lewis lived most of her life in pain from rheumatoid arthritis, which left her with gnarled hands and limited the size of her paintings.

Lewis died in 1970, but her paintings have since sold for tens of thousands of dollars

Maud Lewis poses with one of her paintings in front of her home. (Art Gallery of Nova Scotia)

Nova Scotians will honour folk artist Maud Lewis this week, whose colourful, lively paintings of rural life gained her national and international recognition toward the end of her life and in the decades after her death.

Lewis is this year's honouree for Heritage Day, a Nova Scotian holiday dedicated to recognizing a person, place or event that helped shape the province's history and identity.

While her vibrant and quirky compositions may evoke feelings of joy, Lewis's life was marred by poverty, health issues and poor treatment from her loved ones.

Many of her paintings captured Nova Scotia's shore. (Courtesy Art Gallery of Nova Scotia)

Born in rural Nova Scotia in 1903, Lewis lived most of her life in pain from rheumatoid arthritis, which left her with gnarled hands and limited the size of her paintings.

The Maud Lewis house, where the late folk artist lived and painted for years in rural Nova Scotia, is on display at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

She spent much of her adult life in the small community of Marshalltown, N.S., living with her husband, a fish peddler, in a tiny house, which she famously adorned with colourful paintings of flowers and wildlife.

This is the inside of the Maud Lewis house on display at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. (Dave Laughlin/CBC)

She died in 1970, but her paintings have since sold for tens of thousands of dollars, and the 2016 biopic Maudie generated fresh interest in her unique story.

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