Norris started to paint at 49 years of age when a severe heart
attack forced him into early retirement in 1972.
This renowned Nova Scotia folk artist was born in Halifax but
moved with his family to the small hamlet of Lower Prospect, Nova
Scotia when he was seven years
old. Joe did not attend school regularly; partly because of pleurisy from which
he suffered throughout his life, and partly because he actively sought work
in fishing boats to supplement the family income.
In 1975 he was discovered by Art Dealer Chris Huntington. During
the previous three years he had painted in his kitchen window and would prop
up his paintings on the side of his little yellow house in Lower Prospect and
for a few dollars. Encouraged by the attention his work was receiving he moved
beyond his house to paint the honest simplicity of rural life in Nova Scotia.
Joe also painted furniture, chests, and tables and his paintings and furniture
is found in the collections at The Canadian
Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Like Maud Lewis, Joe Norris is now a National Treasure and Nova Scotia Folk
Art Icon. His pink skies continue to delight collectors the world over.
Photograph by Houston North Gallery, from the book "Joe
Norris Painted Visions of Nova Scotia" by Bernard Riordon, from
Goose Lane Editions and Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
< Back To Biographies