Maud Lewis painting found in thrift shop sells for $45,000

A painting by Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis found in a thrift shop has sold for $45,000.

Artwork auctioned off by Mennonite Central Committee Ontario for nearly triple original estimate

This Maud Lewis painting was discovered by volunteers at the Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Centre in New Hamburg, Ont. The painting was auctioned off to support the MCC. (Ken Ogasawara/MCC Photo)

A painting by celebrated Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis which was found at a thrift shop has sold for $45,000.

The artwork was auctioned off by the Mennonite Central Committee Ontario. The organization announced in a tweet that the piece was sold for almost three times its appraised value. It was originally valued at approximately $16,000.

Portrait of Eddie Barnes and Ed Murphy, Lobster Fisherman, Bay View, Nova Scotia made headlines in March when thrift shop volunteers at MCC's New Hamburg, Ont., location spotted the artwork in a bin.

The artist, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, lived in poverty for most of her life with her husband and sold her paintings for just a few dollars. She died in 1970 at the age of 67.

Her work is recognized for its use of vibrant colours and outdoor depictions.

A recent biopic about Lewis's life starring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins called Maudie renewed public interest in the revered artist.

MCC Ontario says the auction proceeds will go towards the group's development work abroad.

With files from the Canadian Press