Martin Lewis  (American, 1881-1962) 

Martin Lewis (American, 1881–1962) is recognized as a devoted Realist who employed his consummate skills in painting and printmaking to depict the everyday life of rural Connecticut and New York. His detailed illustrations of the countryside and cityscapes are internationally renowned. The son of a mining engineer, Lewis was born in Castlemaine, Australia, where he developed a flair for drawing at an early age. He studied at the James Ashton Art School in Sydney from 1898 to 1900. While studying, Lewis did a number of illustrations for local newspapers. One of his contemporaries in Sydney's art society was the famous artist Julian Rossi Ashton (Australian, 1851–1942).

In 1900, Lewis relocated to San Francisco, where he produced political posters and banners for William McKinley's presidential campaign. He later settled in New York, NY, as a commercial illustrator. He became renowned for his Realist approach to depicting the energy and dynamism of New York City's urban life. Most of his paintings demonstrate an aesthetic combination of Impressionism and Tonalism.

Lewis was inspired to take up printmaking after a visit to England and Wales, where he encountered the graphic works of leading European artists. He took up printmaking in 1915 and spent three years in Japan, where he studied Oriental prints and the use of oils to portray different aspects of time and weather. His oils were well received in New York, but he chose to concentrate on printmaking with a major focus on urban lifestyles, streets, and architecture.

Lewis’s works were exhibited in a number of group shows such as the Print Club of Cleveland, the Chicago Society of Etchers, and the Kennedy Galleries in New York. By the late 1930s, the artist had become an icon of the American graphic art tradition. His famous works include Shadow Dance, which was sold in 2010 for US$50,400 at an auction in New York and The American Scene, which was exhibited at the British Museum in London. Lewis died in February 1962. His work continues to be displayed in major public collections such as the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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Martin Lewis, Arc Welders


Martin Lewis
Arc Welders

Childs Gallery
Martin Lewis, Under the Street Lamp


Martin Lewis
Under the Street Lamp

Kiechel Fine Art
Martin Lewis, Tree, Manhattan


Martin Lewis
Tree, Manhattan

Harris Schrank Fine Prints
Martin Lewis, Derricks at Night


Martin Lewis
Derricks at Night

Harris Schrank Fine Prints
Martin Lewis, Rainy Day, Queens


Martin Lewis
Rainy Day, Queens

Harris Schrank Fine Prints
Martin Lewis, Little Penthouse


Martin Lewis
Little Penthouse

Harris Schrank Fine Prints
Martin Lewis, Chance Meeting


Martin Lewis
Chance Meeting

Harris Schrank Fine Prints
Martin Lewis, Spring Night, Greenwich Village


Martin Lewis
Spring Night, Greenwich Village

Harris Schrank Fine Prints
Past auction results (1104)  View All
Martin Lewis, Shadows on the Road


Martin Lewis
Shadows on the Road, 1926
drypoint in greenish black


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Martin Lewis, Relics (Speakeasy Corner)


Martin Lewis
Relics (Speakeasy Corner), 1928


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Martin Lewis, Glow of the City


Martin Lewis
Glow of the City, 1929
drypoint in dark, brownish black


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1881   Born Castlemaine, Australia
1900   Moved to New York
1962   Death
  Award American Watercolor Society
  Award Chicago Society of Etchers
  Award Boston Arts Club
  Award New York Watercolor Club
  Award Society of American Etchers
  Award Philadelphia Print Club
  Award National Arts Club
  Studied at the Julian Ashton School Sydney, Australia