YARMOUTH, N.S. – Yarmouth artist Tootsie Emin is celebrating the life of Maud Lewis through an exhibition of paintings that will be displayed at the Yarmouth County Museum, that opened May 12 and will run to July 28.
Emin has about 20 pieces in the show, all of them pertaining to the life of Lewis, the famous folk artist with whom Emin has a family connection.
The home acquired by Everett Lewis, Maud’s husband, was previously owned by Capt. John Ryan, Emin’s great-grandfather.
Emin’s uncle Jim and aunt Lucy Ryan were close neighbours of the Lewises. Emin’s uncle served as a pallbearer at Maud Lewis’s funeral.
Emin’s exhibition – titled Treasured Memories of Maud – includes images related to the Bible that belonged to Lewis’s grandmother, Isabella C. Dowley, and the Bible itself was on display during the May 12 opening reception for Emin’s show.
Emin says she is passionate about the show, particularly given her family’s connection to Lewis.
One of Emin’s paintings is a close-up of Lewis’s arthritic hands.
“Just looking at her work – and with her crippled hands – it’s amazing what she accomplished,” Emin said.
This is not the first time Emin has been involved in a Maud Lewis project. A few years ago, she painted one of the “Maudified” houses, 11 miniature structures painted in the Maud Lewis style that were auctioned off.
Meanwhile, speaking of her museum show, Emin made a point of thanking her brother, Hugh Ryan, for his genealogical research.
“He did so much work,” she said.