Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time), by using the blue link-up button below.
Born Maud Dowley in March 1903 is South Ohio, Nova Scotia, Maud Lewis was one of Canada’s best-known folk artists.
Lewis who was severely hampered by advanced arthritis from birth, spent most of her adult life living in poverty with her husband Everett. For over three decades the couple lived together in his one-room shack in rural Nova Scotia without electricity or running water.
To make money Maud sold her paintings from their roadside home to tourists and passersby for about $5.00 each, and never more than the $10.00 apiece she was asking for around the time of her death in 1970.
Since the 2017 release of the film Maudie starring Sally Hawkins as Maud and Ethan Hawke as Everett, which dramatically depicts Lewis’ life, there has been a resurgence in the popularity of her work. Thanks to the film a whole new generation of people are coming to know and love this warm, delightful spirit who painted such bright happy scenes of life in rural Nova Scotia.
We recently visited the permanent exhibit containing a large number of Lewis’ works at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (AGNS) in Halifax.
The star of the AGNS-Lewis exhibit is not any one of Maud’s framed works, but perhaps her greatest work of all, the one-room shack she and Everett lived in.
Over the 30+ years she spent in this 13 1/2 foot by 12 1/2 foot (4.1m x 3.8m ) home, Lewis painted virtually every surface with her joyful artwork.
From the walls to the breadbox,
to the stove, serving trays, and the stairs,
up to and including the windows…
…and yes, even the doors 🙂
People would often drive past and notice the odd sight of this cheerfully painted roadside shack in Marshalltown, with the “Art for Sale” sign out front, and then circle back to take a closer look.
Despite never travelling more than 90 miles (145 km) from her home in her entire life, Lewis’ work grew in popularity thanks in part to a feature article and photo-shoot published in the Toronto Star newspaper which was then followed-up by a profile piece on our national network, CBC television in 1965.
After Everett’s death in 1979 the home was abandoned and left to deteriorate. A group of concerned citizens from the area formed the Maud Lewis Painted House Society in an effort to save the landmark structure.
In 1984 the province of Nova Scotia purchased the home from the group in order to preserve it as a heritage building.
It was eventually dismantled piece by piece and moved to the AGNS where it was painstakingly restored, and then reassembled and put on display as part of the permanent exhibit.
If you get the chance to, I’d also highly recommend the movie Maudie, particularly for Hawkins’ performance, but a word of warning: make sure to keep the tissues handy.
As always, thanks for reading 🙂
Want to join in on the fun and share your own Thursday Doors post with other door lovers? Click on the blue button below to add the link to your Thursday Doors post to our link-up list.
Don’t forget that if you share your blog posts on Twitter and Instagram, use the #ThursdayDoors hashtag to help others find you, and please do take a few minutes to visit some of the Thursday Door posts shared by others.