Nova Scotia Heritage Day is a great way to honour historical figures and events of days gone by. We were very happy to learn that the incomparable Maud Lewis would be this year’s honouree. In celebration of her life, here are five beautiful books featuring the art of this amazing talent.
It’s hard to believe that Maud Lewis left us almost fifty years ago since her legacy and art have proven to be so timeless. The author does an excellent job here of breaking down the complexities that made up Lewis’s life, from her health ailments to the workings of her marriage and how they affected her work. A poignant and engaging exploration, it’s also supplied with excellent photographs of her life and objects she decorated; a lovely addition to the paintings we’ve come to know and love so well.
This book was one of the first titles we had ever released. The fact that it’s been reprinted several times over the past four decades goes to show how well it’s stood the test of time. With quaint countryside scenes, a delightful poem, and a different take on a Christmas story, the best word to describe this book is “charming”.
In the same vein as Rural Mail we have another poem from Woolaver accompanied by Lewis’s paintings. In contrast to the former, we have a lovely summer setting for most of the scenes, as well as different modes of transportation for the day- an early car, a carriage, and oxen. The poem is no less lyrical in this book, and the sea depictions are a nice touch.
Illustrated children’s books are never without an abundance of whimsy and this board book certainly fits that bill. The bright colours and simple shapes transport you back to a simpler time and the peaceful countryside. It’s such a great first read for a child because it’s undeniably beautiful to look at, but it’s also fun and interactive when you’re counting along with a child and finding the objects in the painting.
5. Maud’s Country: Landscapes that inspired the art of Maud Lewis by Lance Woolaver; photographs by Bob Brooks
A different take on exploring Lewis’s work, Brooks’s photos offer the chance for a stunning side-by-side comparison that illuminates for the reader where the inspiration for a particular piece came from. Passing through each of the four seasons, the reader gains further insight into the remarkable life of Lewis through excerpts of those who knew and interviewed her.
Blog post by Meaghan Steeves