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Daily Archives: July 18, 2013

Lewis & Leduc

English: Maude Lewis memorial, Marshalltown, D...

Maude Lewis memorial, Marshalltown, Digby County, Nova Scotia. This tiny structure, made of galvanized metal, is the same size as the artist Maude Lewis’ actual home. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I didn’t realize how many of you enjoyed my post about Canadian painters.  So, in my promise to post about more of them here during the month, I will post two more.

The first is Maud Lewis, known as a Canadian folk artist.  She was born (Maude Dowley) on March 7, 1903 in South Ohio, Nova Scotia, and passed away on July 30, 1970., in Digby, Nova Scotia.

As I learned more about her, I became more and more impressed about her strength.  Since childhood, she suffered from Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.  She married Everett Lewis,, who was a fish peddler, at the age of 34 on January 16, 1938.  She would hand draw Christmas cards, and while joining her husband on his daily runs, she would sell these cards for .25¢ each.

As her success grew, she began to paint on just about any surface she found.  No blank spaces were safe from her.  Her husband encouraged her by buying her her first set of oil paint.  She would first draw out the outline, and then colour it.  She never mixed her colours.  Pretty soon, she was also painting shutters, beaverboards, cookie sheets, masonite — just about any blank surface she found.

She never asked a lot for her work.  As such, she and her husband live pretty much in near poverty most of their lives in Marshallton, Nova Scotia.  For instance, she only asked for .70¢ per shutter.  At that time, she sold the majority of her work to Americans who lived on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.

By 1945, customers showed up at her home.  She would sell her paintings for as little as 2 or 3 dollars.

Things changed in 1964.  She was first featured in a Star Weekly article, and then on CBC’s Telescope.  And so it was that she had acquired national attention.

Unfortunately, in the last years of her life, she suffered as her arthritis worsened.  She would either keep to a corner of her very small house and paint, or travelled to the hospital.

You will find a lot of her work at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.  As is the case with the majority of artists, her work sold for more than she ever asked for.  Two of her paintings sold for more than $16,000; and her A Family Outing painting was sold for $22,200 at an auction.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the death of her husband certainly deserves a “darn it”.  He was murdered in 1979 when a burglar was robbing his house!

The second painter I am profiling is Ozias Leduc.

Boy with Bread

Boy with Bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He was born on October 8, 1864, in Saint-Hilaire-de-Rouville, and passed away on June 16, 1955, at Saint-Hyacinthe.  He is one of Quebec’s early painters. He painted many portraits, still lives and landscapes, as well as religious works.

Leduc lived was a solitary person, and his home town dubbed “the sage of St-Hilaire

Leduc is best known for his work decorating the Notre-Dame-de-la-Présentation church in Shawinigan South.  It was a project which took him thirteen years to complete. The church was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004 .

He received an Honorary doctorate from the Université de Montréal in 1938. And on May 20, 1988, Canada Post issued ‘The Young Reader, Ozias Leduc, 1894‘ in the Masterpieces of Canadian art series.

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Ovation That Lasted a Half-Hour!

Jefferson Davis President 1861–1865

Jefferson Davis President 1861–1865 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the greatest welcomes ever given to an American citizen, I think, occurred July 18, 1867, a few days after Confederation, when Jefferson Davis appeared in Montreal.  He had been President of the Confederate States during the American Civil War and had just been released from Fortress Monroe where he had been held for two years as a war criminal.  He had been bound with chains, insulted, and ill-treated, but had finally been released on bail.  After his release Davis travelled to Montreal where his wife had found shelter for her two children with her mother, Mrs. William Burr Howell, whose home was on St. Catherine’s Street, where the Henry Morgan store now stands.

The occasion for the ovation was a performance of Sheridan’s play The Rivals at the Theatre Royal on Coté Street.  It was a benefit performance for the Southern Relief Association which was helping Southern states devastated by the Civil War.  When Davis and his family appeared in the theatre the crowd cheered for half an hour; the band played Dixie and someone shouted, “We shall live to see the South a nation again” to which the audience answered, “Amen.”

Montreal had been a hotbed of Confederate spy activity during the Civil War, and many escaped prisoners of war found shelter there.  A group of them raided St. Albans, Vermont, during the Quebec Conference on Confederation in 1864, and raised fears that a Northern army might retaliate by invading Canada.  The welcome in Montreal on July 18, 1867, aroused more hostility among the “Yankees.”  The New York Herald said in an editorial: “The fuss made over the arch-rebel on this occasion proves that the Canadians are in a very bad condition of mind.  They won’t recover their equanimity until they are formally annexed to us.”

Davis and his family stayed in Montreal in a home on Mountain Street bought for them by friends.  It later became the office and home of Dr. Henry Drummond, famous for his poem about the habitants.

To learn more about Mr. Davis, there’s quite an article at History.com.

 

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