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02 November 2020

Christmas 2020 — Folk Art of Nova Scotia’s Maud Lewis

Canada: Christmas 2020 – Folk Art of Nova Scotia’s Maud Lewis, 2 November 2020. Images from Canada Post.

Booklet of 6 stamps (USA)

Technical Specifications:

Issue Date: November 2, 2020
Stamp Designer: Hélène L’Heureux
Stamp Value: 1 x $1.30 (USA)
Quantity Produced: 330,000 Booklets
Dimensions: 32.8 mm x 28.8 mm
Booklet of 6 Stamps
Original Price: $7.80
Perforation: Simulated perforation
Printer: Colour Innovations
Printing Process: Lithography in 4 colours
Gum Type: Pressure sensitive
Tagging: General tagging, four sides
Paper: Tullis Russell

Send festive holiday greetings with this booklet of six U.S. rate stamps. The stamps capture the spirit of the season with a reproduction of Team of Oxen in Winter (1967) by Maud Lewis, one of Canada’s most beloved folk artists.

Permanent™ Domestic Rate Stamps – Booklet of 12:

Technical Specifications:

Issue Date: November 2, 2020
Stamp Designer: Hélène L’Heureux
Stamp Value: Permanent™ (domestic rate)
Quantity Produced: 1,000,000 Booklets
Dimensions: 32.8 mm x 28.8 mm
Booklet of 12 Permanent™ Domestic Rate Stamps
Original Price: $11.04
Perforation: Simulated perforation
Printer: Colour Innovations
Printing Process: Lithography in 4 colours
Gum Type: Pressure sensitive
Tagging: General tagging, four sides
Paper: Tullis Russell

Send festive holiday greetings with this booklet of 12 Permanent™ domestic rate stamps. The stamps capture the spirit of the season with a reproduction of Winter Sleigh Ride (circa early 1960s) by Maud Lewis, one of Canada’s most beloved folk artists.

Booklet of 6 Stamps (International):

Technical Specifications:

Issue Date: November 2, 2020
Stamp Designer: Hélène L’Heureux
Stamp Value: 1 x $2.71 (International)
Quantity Produced: 330,000 Booklets
Dimensions: 32.8 mm x 28.8 mm
Booklet of 6 Stamps (International)
Original Price: $16.26
Perforation: Simulated perforation
Printer: Colour Innovations
Printing Process: Lithography in 4 colours
Gum Type: Pressure sensitive
Tagging: General tagging, four sides
Paper: Tullis Russell

Send festive holiday greetings with this booklet of six international rate stamps. The stamps capture the spirit of the season with a reproduction of Family and Sled (circa 1960s) by Maud Lewis, one of Canada’s most beloved folk artists.

Born in South Ohio, Nova Scotia, Maud Lewis began her artistic career as a child, painting Christmas cards – with winter scenes like the ones on these stamps – and selling them door to door. Lewis skilfully depicted the people, animals and activities of rural Maritime life in her works, all imbued with vibrancy and joy.

Although she worked in poverty, physical pain and obscurity for many years, Lewis never stopped painting, and started to receive national and international acclaim in the 1960s. Today her work is treasured by collectors.

Booklets of 6 and 12 Self-Adhesive Stamps:


Article published in Canada Post Magazine, 2 November 2020:

Holiday Stamps Feature Maud Lewis’ Folk Art

On November 2, 2020, Canada Post issued three holiday stamps featuring the festive paintings of Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis.

Featured in this stamp issue are three of her seasonal paintings, all in the Collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia: Family and Sled, circa 1960s; Winter Sleigh Ride, circa early 1960s; and Team of Oxen in Winter, 1967.

While many artists honed their talents in more exotic locales, artist Maud Lewis found inspiration in the rural Nova Scotia farms, fields and shorelines within an hour’s drive of her South Ohio birthplace. “I paint all from memory, I don’t copy much,” she once explained. “Because I don’t go nowhere, I just make my own designs up.”

Despite having juvenile arthritis and birth defects that left her fingers painfully deformed and her neck and shoulders badly hunched, Maud was a happy child who grew up in a home filled with artistic and cultural influences. An avid music lover, her father was said to own the luxuries of both a piano and a gramophone. Her mother, her only art instructor, taught her to paint festive Christmas cards, which she sold to neighbours for a few cents apiece.

Maud’s world changed after her parents died. Virtually homeless but too proud to accept charity, she inquired at fishmonger Everett Lewis’s door about a housekeeper’s position he’d advertised. The two later married, Everett dutifully hauling home the scraps of drywall and cardboard she used as canvases and the leftover house and boat paint she made her media. In later years, Ontario painter John Kinnear supplied her with better quality tools and materials, and she repaid his kindness with paintings.

As the years past, Maud developed severe rheumatoid arthritis that further gnarled her hands. Still, she spent most of her days at the solitary window of her one-room house, painting pastoral scenes from her childhood memories. Not content to confine her creativity to canvas, it gradually spilled onto her walls, appliances, and other household items, turning the tiny home – which had no central heat, electricity or running water – into her master work.

While well known in the local communities of Marshallville and South Ohio, Maud worked for decades in relative obscurity. It wasn’t until 1965, when photojournalist Bob Brooks published a photo essay on her for the Star Weekly. Later in the year, a CBC documentary broadcast her story across the country. Finally, Maud – by then in her mid-60s – began to achieve a degree of fame and fortune. Instead of selling paintings to tourists from her front yard for $5 apiece ($10, if she was lucky), she began receiving commissions from fans in faraway places she could only imagine.

Today, Maud’s paintings make up popular and valuable collections in many well-known art galleries and museums. The Nova Scotia Gallery of Art holds a large collection on permanent exhibit, including her small but spectacularly decorated house, which delights thousands of visitors each year. In 2016, her story became even more widely known with the release of the film Maudie, a fictionalized version of her already remarkable life.

Maud Lewis is now considered one of Canada’s best known and most beloved folk artists. Despite the odds against her, Maud’s desire to reveal the wonder of the everyday world and the simple yet joyous beauty of rural Nova Scotia burned like a flame that simply refused to be snuffed — and continues to live on in her vividly coloured, exuberant works.

Souvenir Sheet of 3 Stamps:

Technical Specifications:

Quantity Produced – 55,000
Original Price: $4.93
Perforation: 13+
Dimension: 112 mm x 70 mm
Printer: Colour Innovations
Printing Process: Lithography in 4 colours
Gum Type: PVA
Tagging: General tagging, four sides
Paper: Tullis Russell
Official First Day Cover
Quantity Produced – 6,000
Cancellation Location: Digby, Nova Scotia

The folk art paintings of Maud Lewis (1901-70) are a colourful and joyful portrayal of country life in the Maritimes. Lewis’ earliest works were Christmas cards painted under the tutelage of her mother and sold to neighbours in rural Nova Scotia. This issue features three seasonal works from the 1960s – Winter Sleigh Ride, Team of Oxen in Winter and Family and Sled – all part of the collection at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax.

Lewis was born and raised in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, and later lived in nearby Marshalltown with her husband, Everett. She spent much of her adult life in a cramped, one-room house with no running water or electricity. Living with rheumatoid arthritis and having no formal training, she was a prolific painter – sometimes producing as many as three pieces a day. Lewis used a vibrant palette to capture the spirit of the people, animals and activities beyond her window and add life to almost every surface in her tiny home, which is also on display at the Gallery.

First Day Cover:

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