Letters handwritten by acclaimed Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis will be sold online April 13th

Mr. Kinnear was a friend of Ms. Lewis's, as well as a fellow artist. His daughter Sheila is offering the letters – a discovery of rare correspondence into Ms. Lewis's secluded life. The letters are being sold online by Miller & Miller Auctions.
By: Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
Shelia M. Kinnear, daughter of John H. Kinnear.
Shelia M. Kinnear, daughter of John H. Kinnear.
NEW HAMBURG, Ontario - April 10, 2024 - PRLog -- In 1965, The Star Weekly magazine and CBC-TV both shone a spotlight on the little-known, self-taught Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis (1901-1970). Her world suddenly changed.

Now, Ms. Lewis's letters handwritten to a friend in London, Ontario will come up for bid at Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., this coming Saturday, April 13th, beginning promptly at 10 am Eastern time. The auction will be online-only.

Details of Maud Lewis's secluded and impoverished life in Marshalltown – where she and her husband Everett shared a tiny one-room house with no electricity or running water – became public knowledge.  She complained about receiving more than 300 letters after all the publicity and evidently had no plans to answer them.

When the White House wrote to secure two paintings, her response was concise: she would send the paintings after receiving payment. Her work was suddenly in great demand, but she seemed impervious to the fame.

While it's believed Maud Lewis had few correspondents during that time, there is one man she confided in. She wrote to him, and he wrote her back. He also sent her packages of badly-needed art supplies. His name was John H. Kinnear, of London, Ontario.

In his book The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis, author Lance Woolaver writes, "Maud was not a careerist, and she valued those friends, like Ontario painter John Kinnear, who corresponded with her regularly, far more than an order from a Premier or President."

An artist himself, Kinnear had read The Star Weekly story and was captured by Lewis's plight. He was deeply moved by her circumstances, her poverty and her severe disabilities. But he also recognized her extraordinary talent and took it upon himself to do what he could to help.

And so began their friendship and rare correspondence, which lasted five years until Lewis died of pneumonia in 1970.

To learn more, please visit www.millerandmillerauctions.com.

Source:Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.
Location:New Hamburg - Ontario - Canada
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