May 15, 2017
Mayberry Fine Art experts are available to speak with media about the demand and price surge for Maud Lewis’s work, potential for fakes to appear as film Maudie charms audiences.
Christmas Mail Train, Maud Lewis, circa 1957
Mayberry Fine Art has bought and sold more than 200 Maud Lewis paintings over 20 years, by far the most of any gallery. Three Mayberry exhibitions of the Nova Scotia artist’s work -- in Winnipeg (2012) and Toronto (2013 and 2015) -- heightened collectors’ interest. https://www.mayberryfineart.com/artist/maud_lewis
Since the film Maudie began showing -- first at film festivals in 2016 and now at movie theatres across Canada -- gallery co-owners Bill Mayberry and Shaun Mayberry have experienced first-hand the surge in demand for and value of the artist’s iconic images. http://www.mongrelmedia.com/international/film/maudie.aspx
Maud Lewis paintings are now being sold at prices some 30 per cent higher ($7,000 - $25,000) than a year ago, with demand outpacing works available for sale.
Many Maud Lewis paintings were bought unframed for a few dollars as souvenirs decades ago, ending up in storage in basements and attics. Maudie prompted enquiries to Mayberry about the value of these long-held paintings.
Mayberry sales of Maud Lewis paintings to U.S. buyers have increased 25 per cent in the last year. The exposure that Maudie received at the Telluride film festival in Colorado last fall played a role.
With Sony Pictures set to distribute the film in U.S. theatres mid- June, demand from south of the border is expected to continue growing.
The expected international release of Maudie this year -- in the U.K., Europe, Australia and Japan -- could generate unprecedented international demand for a Canadian artist’s work.
With the combination of high demand and climbing prices, the Mayberrys warn about the possibility of fake Maud Lewis paintings appearing for sale, especially online and at smaller auctions. Artwork that Maud’s husband Everett Lewis painted and signed “Lewis” after Maud died is sometimes mistaken for works Maud did herself.
Mayberry advises to know what you’re buying to avoid unwittingly buying a painting in very poor condition -- either badly restored or in a deteriorated state.
Mayberry Fine Art with its affiliate, ArtMoi, has just launched a website cataloguing Maud Lewis paintings sold by Mayberry in recent years. It’s the most extensive catalogue of Maud Lewis works in existence and marks the start of a larger project the Mayberrys have planned to showcase her work. https://maudlewis.ca/
The film Maudie and interest in the Mennonite Central Committee auction* of one of her paintings will only help Maud’s reputation, and bring to light the genuine story and honesty that is in her work. -- Bill Mayberry
The MCC auction closes May 19. High bid was $45,000 as of May 14.