Maud Lewis painting found in southern Ontario thrift shop bin to be auctioned

A painting by Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis has turned up in a southern Ontario thrift shop.

Volunteers at the Mennonite Central Committee Thrift Centre in New Hamburg, Ont., southwest of Kitchener, came across the piece while sorting through donations.

The work, entitled "Portrait of Eddie Barnes and Ed Murphy, Lobster Fishermen, Bay View, N.S." is painted on beaverboard, a pulp board Lewis used for many of her paintings.

Living in poverty for most of her life, Lewis sold her paintings from her small home near Digby, N.S., for as little as $2 and $3.

Since her death in 1970, Lewis's paintings have sold for up to $22,000.

After achieving national attention through an article in the Star Weekly and being featured in a CBC TV documentary, two of her paintings were ordered by the White House during Richard Nixon's presidency.

The painting is to be sold through an online auction to support Mennonite Central Committee's relief, development and peacebuilding work.

The auction is to begin following an advance screening of the movie, "Maudie," starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, on April 20 in Waterloo, Ont., and end on May 19.