There are wonderful museums in Halifax; such as the Maritime Museum containing the Titanic Exhibit and a little dream of a museum, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Currently in two historic buildings, the main attraction is the Maud Lewis house. Travelers from all over the world come to see this extraordinary example of Canadian Folk Art. A tiny little woman married an older gentleman and came to live in a tiny little house in Marshalltown, Digby County. In 1938 she met and married Everett Lewis and riddled with rheumatoid arthritis, she was unable to do any house work, so Everett did the house work and Maud painted and sold her artwork. Maud painted everything in the tiny house, walls, furniture, lamps, stove, etc. Her hand painted sign, “paintings for sale” provided passerby’s to see her house as well. After her death in 1970 and the later death of her husband Everett in 1979, a group of concerned citizens formed the Maud Lewis Painted House Society for the strict preservation of the house. After many years they realized it would take far more funds than they were able to raise and contacted the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. The story of this incredible move and preservation is available on the Art Gallery’s website http://www.artgalleryofnovascotia.ca/en/AGNS_Halifax/about_us/collection/aboutmaudlewis/default.aspx . The house is amazing and the touching messages left from visitors from all over the world tell the story of how Maud Lewis influenced their life.
Another one of the famous exhibits is the “Skin: the seduction of surface” exhibit. A remarkable exhibit of contemporary art exploring the physical and conceptual ideas of skin, including Jane Sterbak’s internationally acclaimed meat dress-Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic.
A remarkable exhibit- Mosom Maskwa – Pawakan (Grandfather Bear – Spirit-Guides). Ned Bear is renowned for his hand-carved masks that have an energy and aesthetic that both embrace the traditional, but also the modern without overly romanticizing the images he creates. Other exhibits include- Reinvention: The Art and Life of HM Rosenberg, Painting…Place: Elizabeth Enders, Show of Hands, and much more.
The exciting part of this Art Gallery is their dedication to art education. Children participate in many art activities and much of it is actually hanging in the Gallery. Their Friends of Autism program provides programs for autistic children and parents to partake in art activates as well.
It does not take long to view the Gallery and well worth the time. Their extended hours allow visitors to stop by after a day of sightseeing and immerse yourself in world of Canadian Art. A definite stop during your visit to Halifax and tell them Wicked sent you.