Largest-ever Maud Lewis sale and show at Mayberry Toronto - Media Release

May 23, 2013

Largest ever sale and show of Maud Lewis paintings opens June 1, 2013 at Toronto's Mayberry Fine Art.


Visitors can learn why particular Lewis works command record prices, how to identify the Canadian folk artist’s most collectible (and less valuable) pieces


TORONTO -- In the 110th anniversary year of Maud Lewis’s birth, Mayberry Fine Art will mount the largest-ever sale and exhibition of the legendary, Nova Scotia folk artist’s work at its Toronto gallery in Yorkville.

The show, entitled Seasons, opens June 1 and runs until June 30.

The collection of 45 oil paintings was two-plus years in the making with the majority of pieces acquired from first-time owners who bought her works decades ago.  Many of these come with a story of purchasing the work directly from Lewis herself, including several items previously owned by Americans who summered in Nova Scotia in the mid-1900s. (View the collection “in a nutshell.”)

“Maud Lewis is the real deal. She is the most authentic folk artist in Canada.  Maud is being recognized as a great Canadian artist and a national treasure,” gallery owner and veteran art dealer Bill Mayberry said of the diminutive artist born in 1903.

“Paintings that she sold personally for $2 to $10 have attained collector status and are now worth thousands of dollars. There has been huge growth in interest in her work among serious collectors outside Atlantic Canada,” added Mayberry, whose first Lewis show in the fall of 2011 sold out in two days.

Over the last 10 years, Lewis’s work has steadily increased in value. Her paintings now commonly sell for $5,000 to $10,000 with her most unique pieces from the late 1940s and ‘50s fetching from $15,000 to $20,000.

Mayberry Fine Art paid record prices to attain works for the show including a 14” x 18”, 1950s painting of Sandy Cove. (See image below.)  The gallery set the record for the highest price paid for a Maud Lewis with its purchase of a small, 1950s painting of a village scene for $22,680 in 2012. (That piece has since been sold to a client.)

Maud Lewis researcher, historian and collector Alan Deacon, of Wolfville, N.S., will give talks about the artist at 1 p.m. each day on opening weekend at Mayberry Fine Art. Deacon bought his first two Maud Lewis paintings from the artist herself.

“The Mayberry show is very significant as it is only the third major show of Maud’s work at a commercial gallery since her death in 1970. I also commend the Mayberrys for broadening the scope of their exhibition by borrowing extraordinary pieces from private collections for their show. These rarely exhibited pieces will expand gallery visitors’ knowledge of the artist’s work,” Deacon said.

With 40 years of experience as commercial art dealers, Mayberry has the curatorial expertise to assess Lewis’s work and explain to potential buyers why one particular piece would be priced at $8,000 while another could sell in the $20,000 range. 

According to Bill Mayberry, much of the demand for Lewis’s paintings stems from Canadians visiting the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (AGNS) where her tiny, original home is on exhibit along with a collection of her paintings.

“People fall in love with her work and then they want to collect it. Her art speaks to all Canadians. It’s honest. Maud’s painting gave her inner joy and people can sense that,” explained Mayberry.

“She was untrained as an artist, unaware of the art world itself. That’s what makes her paintings authentic Canadian folk art.”

Mayberry Fine Art opened its new galleries in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District in 2002 and in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood in 2010. The gallery represents a broad range of historical Canadian works and prominent contemporary artists from across Canada. To learn more, visit .

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About Maud Lewis

Maud Lewis (1903-1970) was born in South Ohio, Nova Scotia. Her career as an artist began when her mother started her painting Christmas cards to sell.

Her world was geographically small -- extending between her birthplace and her home where she and husband Everett lived in Marshalltown, Digby County, after they married in 1938.

Their tiny home lacked modern amenities like indoor plumbing and electricity, but was adorned with joyful artwork that Maud painted on the interior and exterior of the wood cabin.

Despite worsening rheumatoid arthritis, Maud brought in money through her paintings which she commonly sold for $5. A roadside sign advertised her works and those who stopped to admire her paintings took enjoyment from the naïve style in which she depicted scenes, people and animals familiar to her.

Through newspaper and magazine articles, and documentaries such as the one produced by CBC  in 1965 and by The National Film Board in 1976, Maud’s artistic reputation grew. It is still growing today.

Learn more on Mayberry Fine Art’s Maud Lewis Pinterest board