Maud Lewis lecture and appraisal to be held in Truro

Published on May 30, 2014
This is a photo of ‘Autumn Carriage Ride’ by Maud Lewis. Photo courtesy of Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

TRURO – If there is a Maud Lewis piece of art hanging in your living room or tucked away in your attic, Alan Deacon would like to know.

Deacon, Canada’s foremost expert on the art of Lewis, will be in Truro on June 11 to appraise artwork and, hopefully, discover another gem like ‘Carriage Ride.’

With a pre-auction estimate of $3,00 to $5,000, Carriage Ride sold in 2011 for a record $22,680 at Joyner Waddington’s in Toronto. In recent years, Lewis’s paintings have sold for ever-increasing prices. Since 2009, three of her paintings have sold for more than $20,000. 

Deacon met Lewis shortly before her death in 1970. A retired teacher, Deacon came to Nova Scotia in 1968 from the United Kingdom to teach at West Kings District High School in the Annapolis Valley. He first saw a Maud Lewis painting at a major’s house in Greenwood, knowing immediately there was something intriguing and special about her work. 

In the fall of ‘68 and spring of ’69, he made three visits to Lewis’s home in Marshalltown near Digby, and purchased two works directly from her. 

“She had about a dozen paintings stacked on a table,” he recalled in a press release, “separated by little wooden slats so they could dry. She was shy and said very little. Everett, her husband, did most of the talking.” 

Deacon bought his $10 treasure, no small sum in the 1960s. After scouring antique shops and galleries over the years, he has acquired a significant collection of Maud Lewis paintings. Auction houses across Canada depend on his expertise. Forgeries are common, and if there is any doubt as to the authenticity of a Maud Lewis up for auction, they call Deacon.

The June 11 event will begin at 7 p.m. at the Marigold Cultural Centre. Deacon will share his knowledge of Lewis’s work and, following the lecture, appraise any Maud Lewis works brought in.

Dee Appleby, member of the International Society of Appraisers, will be on hand as well to appraise historical Canadian works of art.

To pre-register for an appraisal, contact Dee Appleby at Tickets are $17, available at the Marigold box office (897-4004).