A Maud Lewis painting that was previously traded for grilled cheese sandwiches has sold for $350,000

A Maud Lewis painting that was previously traded for grilled cheese sandwiches has sold for $350,000

The price of the 13-inch and 11-inch black van from 1967 stunned the art world.Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd

A Maud Lewis painting just sold at auction for a hammer price of $350,000. That’s a lot of cheese.

The price of a 13 inch by 11 inch phone black truck From 1967 it stunned the art world, achieving 10 times its highest pre-sale ratings and removing the previous record for a painting by Nova Scotia’s beloved folk artist, who died relatively unknown in 1970 at the age of 67. The previous high watermark for Lewis’s work was $67,250 (which includes an 18 percent premium paid to the auction house). Total money paid to black truckwith the added buyer’s premium, up to $413,000.

What explains the price of the jackpot? The auctioneer has a surprising answer:

Ethan Miller, CEO of Miller and Miller Auctions Ltd. , based in New Hamburg, Ont.: “grilled cheese sandwiches.” “The biggest misconception is that people buy art because it’s a visual object and that’s the end of the story. But it really isn’t, especially when it comes to a heroine like Maud Lewis.”

The black truck The anecdote, which has garnered international attention, is that the plate was bought by sellers nearly 50 years ago in exchange for grilled cheese sandwiches. In the 1970s, Erin and Tony Dimas owned and operated The Villa restaurant in London, Ontario. Two of her regular clients were John Kinnear and his wife Audrey. The late Mr. Kinnear was an English painter who every day ordered a lunch of grilled cheese for Irene Dimas. He often traded his plates for meals.

In addition to favoring fried bread and cheddar cheese, Mr. Kinnear was a hero to Mrs. Lewis, a little woman who had never had a penny to rub them together, and even if she did, her deformed, articulated fingers might not have been erect. for this task. Mr. Kinnear was sending Mrs. Lewis the prepared paint and paintings; In return, Mrs. Lewis would ship the paintings he was going to sell to her. In Nova Scotia, Mrs. Lewis strolled through her roadside paintings near the cramped, unmodern cottage she had shared with her soft-skinned husband. You may get $10 each. In Ontario, Mr. Kinnear can fetch double or triple that price.

One day in 1973, Mr. Kinnear brought a selection of six Lewis works for Mrs. Dimas who used a spoon. not affected.

“I thought someone was kidding me,” Ms Dimas told The Globe and Mail after last weekend’s auction. “The paintings looked like something a child had drawn.”

Lewis’ brightly colored photographs of rural Nova Scotia have truly captured a childlike sense of happiness and innocence. Cats and optimistic winter scenes were often involved. Mrs. Dimas rested on the plates supported by glassware on the tables of the restaurant black truck, which is a simple drawing of a man driving his chosen robotic operation car. “It made me smile,” she said.

Three hundred and fifty thousand dollars later, she is still smiling.

Three handwritten letters from Mrs. Lewis to Mr. Kinnear, also owned by Erin and Tony, sold for $70,000 ($82,600 with buyer’s premium), well above their estimate of $5,000. While Dimas’ windfall came as a surprise, Ms. Lewis’ labor prices have been creeping steadily higher lately. Lewis’ Market is literally hot in Smith’s Cove, NS, where last year a pair of Lewis paintings were stolen from a beachfront shack. One appraiser estimated the business at around $80,000.

Biographical drama 2016 Modi, which starred Sally Hawkins as Lewis, drew attention to the painter. Further interest in Canada was encouraged by a recent exhibition of her work curated by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ont.

Black truck sellers, Erin and Tony Dimas, have sold a Maud Lewis painting for $350,000 at auction.John Dunford / Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd

“This show is well curated,” said Alan Deacon, Maud Lewis expert based in Nova Scotia. “Not all pigs are funny.” The gallery, which has been touring since opening at McMichael in 2019, will spend this summer at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Mr. Deacon knew Mrs. Lewis. In 1968 he visited and bought winter drawing bulls. “She was still wet,” he recalls. “It was $10, and you can’t bargain on the price.”

Auction price for black truck It was then bargained some. Several bidders quickly pushed the price to $100,000, but most participants stopped at $150,000. It was a tough business after $250,000 between a couple of ardent hopefuls. A bullying bid that jumped to $350,000 from $330,000 sealed the deal.

Miller said the anonymous winning model was not a Lewis collector but someone he had read about recently black truck And who had seen Lewis’ biography the night before the auction. Buyer was inspired by Mrs. Lewis and saw the story of the painting and the treatment of simpler grilled cheese as a symbol of what is needed today.

“He told me he saw the painting as a juxtaposition in terms of the way he saw the world in the past two years, and he thought it was an example of how the world should be from this day forward,” Mr. Miller said. “He wants to put the darkness behind him. That’s what he told me he saw black truck Luster and optimism.

The seller understands the opinion of the buyer. “There is something magical about the painting,” said Mrs. Dimas, now retired. “My husband and I loved it and took care of it for 50 years, but we won’t be around for another 50. We’re happy black truck In a good place.”

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2022-05-19 23:12:28

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