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Martin Lewis Art

American, Australian, 1881-1962

Martin Lewis was born in Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia, on June 7th, 1881. He was the second of eight children and had a passion for drawing. 

At the age of 15, Lewis left home and traveled in New South Wales, Australia, and in New Zealand, working as a pothole digger and a merchant seaman. He returned to Sydney and settled into a Bohemian community outside Sydney. Two of his drawings were published in the radical Sydney newspaper, The Bulletin. He studied with Julian Ashton at the Art Society's School in Sydney. Ashton was an English-born Australian artist and teacher known for his support of the Heidelberg School and for his influential art school in Sydney. 

In 1900, Lewis left Australia for the United States. His first job was in San Francisco, painting stage decorations for William McKinley's presidential campaign of 1900. By 1909, Lewis was living in New York, where he found work in commercial illustration. His earliest known etching is dated 1915. However, the level of skill in this piece suggests he had been working in the medium for some time previously. It was during this period that he helped Edward Hopper learn the basics of etching

In 1920, after the breakup of a romance, Lewis traveled to Japan, where for two years he drew and painted and studied Japanese art. The influence of Japanese prints is very evident in Lewis's prints after that period. In 1925, he returned to etching and produced most of his well-known works between 1925 and 1935. Lewis's first solo exhibition in 1929 was successful enough for him to give up commercial work and concentrate entirely on printmaking. 

Lewis is most famous for his black and white prints, mostly of night scenes of non-tourist, real-life street scenes of New York City. During the Depression, however, he was forced to leave the city for four years between 1932 and 1936 and move to Newtown, Connecticut. His work from this period includes a number of rural, night-time, and winter landscape scenes in this area. 

Lewis returned to Manhattan in 1936 and continued to etch and paint. He taught printmaking at the Art Students League of New York from 1944 until his retirement in 1952. Now he is considered one of the most important American printmakers of the twentieth century.

Find original Martin Lewis prints and other art on 1stDibs.

(Biography provided by Allinson Gallery, Inc.)

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Artist: Martin Lewis
Break in the Thunderstorm
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Martin Lewis (1881-1962, Break in the Thunderstorm, drypoint, 1930, signed and titled in pencil (also signed in the plate in a rectangle lower left). Reference: McCarron 86, second s...
Category

1930s Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Cathedral Steps
By Martin Lewis
Located in Detroit, MI
"Cathedral Steps" by Martin Lewis 1931 Drypoint Signed in the plate in a rectangle at lower right 42 recorded impressions including 7 trial proofs Image size: 10 ½” X 16 3/4” Paper ...
Category

1930s Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Etching

QUARTER OF NINE - SATURDAY'S CHILDREN
By Martin Lewis
Located in Portland, ME
Lewis, Martin (American, born Australia, 1881-1962). QUARTER OF NINE, SATURDAY'S CHILDREN. McCarron 79. Drypoint, 1929. McCarron says the intended edition was 100 , but 107 were prin...
Category

1920s Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

[Man with cigar]
By Martin Lewis
Located in Boston, MA
Initialed lower right: "M.L.". Estate stamp verso, lower left: Lucille Deming Lewis Collection. Inscribed verso, lower left: "LDL-803". In fine condition.
Category

1930s American Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Paper, Charcoal

White Monday
By Martin Lewis
Located in Fairlawn, OH
Signed in the plate lower left Note: Printed on September 26, 1980 in an edition of 4 restrikes. Reference: Paul McCarron, The Prints of Martin Lewis: A Catalogue Raisonne (Bro...
Category

1970s Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

'Tree, Manhattan' — Classic American Realism
By Martin Lewis
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
Martin Lewis, 'Tree, Manhattan', drypoint, 1930, edition 91 (including 10 trial proofs), McCarron 87. Signed in pencil. A superb, atmospheric impression, in warm black ink, on cream...
Category

1930s American Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Dock Workers under the Brooklyn Bridge
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
Martin Lewis, N.A. (Dock Workers under the Brooklyn Bridge). c. 1916-18. Aquatint and etching. McCarron 15. 17 3/4 x 23 3/4 (sheet 26 x 31). 5 recorde...
Category

1910s American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Etching, Aquatint

Building a Babylon, Tudor City, NY.
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
McCarron 76. 12 7/8 x 7 7/8 (sheet 16 5/8 x 12 1/4). 6th trial proof (McCarron records 84 impressions including 4 trial proofs). Illustrated L'Amérique de la Dépression: Artistes En...
Category

Early 20th Century American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Etching, Drypoint

"Under the Street Lamp" Imp. Etching
By Martin Lewis
Located in Houston, TX
Copperplate etching by Martin Lewis titled "Under the Street Lamp." Edition of 100. Printed on laid paper with watermark and 83 recorded impressions. McCarron catalogue raisonne #70. Signed in pencil with "imp" next to the signature. In the bottom right corner is a penciled 75 and in the top right corner is a 50. The etching is framed and was taken out of the frame for condition report and photographs. The gallery label is on the back of the matte inside the frame. Dimensions without Frame: H 15 in x W 9.5 in. Artist Biography: Martin Lewis (1881-1962) was born in Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia on 7 June 1881. He was the second of eight children and had a passion for drawing. At the age of 15, he left home and traveled in New South Wales, Australia, and in New Zealand, working as a pothole digger and a merchant seaman. He returned to Sydney and settled into a Bohemian community outside Sydney. Two of his drawings were published in the radical Sydney newspaper, The Bulletin. He studied with Julian Ashton at the Art Society's School in Sydney. Ashton, an English-born Australian artist and teacher, known for his support of the Heidelberg School and for his influential art school in Sydney. In 1900, Lewis left Australia for the United States. His first job was in San Francisco, painting stage decorations...
Category

1920s Naturalistic Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Laid Paper, Etching

Spring Night Greenwich Village
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Spring Night, Greenwich Village--1930, Drypoint and Sand Ground.McCarron 85, only state. Edition 92. Signed in pencil. Signed in the plate, lower rig...
Category

1930s Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Spring Night, Greenwich Village
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
Spring Night, Greenwich Village. 1930. Drypoint and sand ground. McCarron 85. 10 x 12 3/8 (sheet 13 1/4 x 15 5/8)). Edition 92. A rich, tonal impress...
Category

1930s American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint, Etching

Barns in the Helderberg, New York (rural 1930s American scene with vintage car)
By Martin Lewis
Located in New Orleans, LA
"Barns in the Helderberg, New York" by Martin Lewis shows neighbors (one in a Model T car) visiting outside a series of barns with a tree in the background...
Category

1930s American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Charcoal, Chalk

Little Penthouse
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Little Penthouse, drypoint, 1931, signed in pencil lower right [signed in the plate in a rectangle lower left]. Reference: McCarron 91, only state. Printed ...
Category

1930s American Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Shadows, Garage at Night
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Martin Lewis (1881-1962, Shadows, Garage at Night, drypoint, 1928, signed in pencil lower right [also signed in the plate lower right]. Reference: McCarron 69, only state, from the t...
Category

1930s American Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Rainy Day, Queens
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Rainy Day, Queens, drypoint, 1931, signed in pencil lower right [also signed in the plate lower right]. Reference: McCarron 94, only state, from the edition...
Category

1930s American Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Circus Night.
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Signed in pencil by the artist. Drypoint and sandground, 1933. Edition 100, recorded impressions 43. Of the forty-three recorded impressions printed, a group of those were unsigne...
Category

1930s Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Tree, Manhattan
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Tree, Manhattan, drypoint, 1930, signed in pencil lower right [also signed in the plate lower left]. Reference: McCarron 87, only state; 91 recorded impress...
Category

1930s American Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

The Passing Freight, Danbury
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
.The Passing Freight, Danbury. 1934. Drypoint and sand ground. McCarron 108. 8 7/8 x 14 7/8 (sheet 12 1/7 x 17 5/8). Edition 46 (including 6 trial proofs). A rich, tonal impression p...
Category

1930s American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Shadows on the Bay
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Martin Lewis (1881-1962), Showers on the Bay, drypoint and sand ground, 1925, signed in pencil bottom right and annotated “imp” (indicating printed by the artist), also signed in the...
Category

1920s Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Skyline, New York
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
Skyline, New York. 1919. Etching and drypoint. McCarron 36. 8 7/8 x 10 3/8 (sheet 12 1/4 x 14 . 11 recorded impressions (intended edition 50. Lewis states that he destroyed 6 of the ...
Category

1920s American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint, Etching

Quarter of Nine, Saturday's Children.
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
Quarter of Nine, Saturday's Children. 1929. Drypoint. McCarron 78. 9 3/4 x 12 3/4 (sheet 12 7/8 x 17 7/8). Illustrated: American Etchers: Martin Lewis. Edition 107. A fine impression...
Category

1920s American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint, Etching

Relics (Speakeasy Corner).
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
McCarron 74. 11 7/8 x 9 7/8 (sheet 17 1/8 x 13 3/4). Edition of 111. Illustrated: American Etchers: Martin Lewis. A brilliant, luminous impression with rich, velvety burr, printed on cream laid paper. Signed in pencil. Price upon request. Housed in an archival mat and a 25 x 21-inch black wood frame. According to McCarron, page 136, "The popularity of Relics when first issued is clear; the entire edition sold in just a few months, a spectacular achievement for a printmaker of the time." The location depicted in Relics is the intersection of Charles Street and West Fourth Street in Greenwich Village, a few blocks from Lewis's house on Bedford Street. During Lewis' lifetime, Relics was his most popular print, and the entire edition was sold. Relics and Glow of the City...
Category

1920s American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Stoops in Snow
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
Stoops in Snow. 1930. Drypoint and sandpaper ground. McCarron catalog 89.state ii. 9 x 14 7/8 (sheet 13 1/4 x 18 7/16 ). . Edition 115 recorded impress...
Category

1930s American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint, Etching

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Holiday in Camp -- Soldiers Playing "Foot-Ball"
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Holiday in Camp -- Soldiers Playing "Foot-Ball" Wood engraving, 1865 After Winslow Homer Unsigned (Signed in text in title caption, see photo) Published in Harper's Weekly July 15, 1...
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1860s American Realist Martin Lewis Art

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Previously Available Items
Shadows -- Garage at Night
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
Shadows -- Garage at Night. c. 1928. Conte crayon drawing. Study for the drypoint, McCarron 69. 10 1/8 x 12 3/4 (the drypoint measures 9 7/8 x 11 7/8). The drypoint is illustrated in...
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1920s American Modern Martin Lewis Art

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Crayon

The Great Shadow
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
The Great Shadow. 1925. Drypoint. McCarron 44. 9 7/8 x 7 inches (sheet 13 3/4 x 10 1/4). Edition of 86 recorded impressions (intended edition 100). A superb impression with carefully...
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The Great Shadow
The Great Shadow
H 18.75 in W 14.75 in D 1 in
CHANCE MEETING
By Martin Lewis
Located in Portland, ME
Lewis, Martin. CHANCE MEETING. McCarron 131. Drypoint, 1940-41. Edition of 105. Signed in pencil, lower right. 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches, 265 x 188 mm. In excellent condition.
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1940s Martin Lewis Art

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Oncoming Rain
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Martin Lewis created the copper plate for "Oncoming Rain" in 1929 using drypoint and sand ground techniques. The intended edition size was 50 impressions but only 19 have been record...
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Mid-20th Century American Realist Martin Lewis Art

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Oncoming Rain
Oncoming Rain
H 11.38 in W 13.38 in D 0.94 in
Down to the Sea.
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Martin Lewis created the copper plate for "Down to the Sea" in 1929, using drypoint and sand ground techniques. The edition size is listed as 75 impressions but only 65 have been re...
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Mid-20th Century American Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Down to the Sea.
Down to the Sea.
H 19.5 in W 24 in D 1 in
Strength and Beauty.
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
This drypoint with sand ground by Martin Lewis was created in 1937. It is signed, lower right, in pencil. The printed image size is 10 7/8 x 13" (27.5 x 33 cm). Edition unknown wi...
Category

1930s American Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Politics
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
Politics. 1936. Drypoint and sand ground. McCarron catalog 118 state ii. 9 3/4 x 10 5/8 (sheet 13 7/8 x 15). Trial proof 10, edition 27 (including 11 trial proofs). McCarron cites this impression to describe the second state. A rich, tonal impression printed on 'FJ Head & Co' cream wove paper with full margins. Provenance: estate of Delores D. Di Paola. Signed and annotated 'trial proof 10' in pencil. Housed in a subtle 17 3/4 x 18 1/2-inch silver-gold modern frame that enhances the tonality of the evening sky. The scene is Kent Hollow, a valley in the Appalachian Mountains in the town of Kent in Litchfield County, Connecticut. It is situated in the upper reaches of the West Aspetuck River, one of the cleanest rivers in Southern New England. Martin Lewis (1881–1962) was born in Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia on 7 June 1881. He was the second of eight children and had a passion for drawing. At the age of 15, he left home and traveled in New South Wales, Australia, and in New Zealand, working as a pothole digger and a merchant seaman. He returned to Sydney and settled into a Bohemian community outside Sydney. Two of his drawings were published in the radical Sydney newspaper, The Bulletin. He studied with Julian Ashton at the Art Society's School in Sydney. Ashton, a famous painter, was also one of the first Australian artists to take up printmaking. In 1900, Lewis left Australia for the United States. His first job was in San Francisco, painting stage decorations...
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1930s American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Politics
Politics
H 17.75 in W 18.5 in D 0.5 in
Trade Winds
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
McCarron catalog number 25. Image: 7 7/8 x 11 3/4. Sheet 12 x 15 1/4. Edition of 22 recorded impressions (intended edition 50). A rich impression with drypoint burr printed on cr...
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1910s American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Trade Winds
Trade Winds
H 7.88 in W 11.75 in D 0.5 in
Arc Welders at Night.
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Printed on light blue paper. This original print by Martin Lewis was made using drypoint and a sand ground on a copper plate in 1937. The exact edition is unknown - 33 impressions ...
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1930s American Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Sunday Garden Inspection.
By Martin Lewis
Located in Storrs, CT
Sunday Garden Inspection. 1927. Drypoint. McCarron catalog 67 state ii. 11 3/4 x 8 (sheet 16 x 11 5/8). Edition of 34 recorded impressions (intended edition 50). A rich, well-inked...
Category

20th Century American Modern Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint, Etching

Little Penthouse.
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Drypoint, 1931. Signed in pencil. Edition 75, recorded impressions 84. Image size 9 7/8 x 6 13/16" (25.2 x 17.3 cm). McCarron #91. Very good condition. Framed. This print was...
Category

1930s American Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Drypoint

Little Penthouse.
Little Penthouse.
H 18.38 in W 16 in D 1.5 in
Under the Street Lamp.
By Martin Lewis
Located in New York, NY
Etching, 1928. Edition 100, recorded impressions 83. Signed in pencil. Image size 14 7/8 x 9 3/8" (38 x 24 cm). McCarron #70. Very good condition Martin Lewis is considered on...
Category

1920s American Realist Martin Lewis Art

Materials

Etching

Martin Lewis art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Martin Lewis available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Martin Lewis in drypoint, engraving, etching and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the modern style. Not every interior allows for large Martin Lewis, so small editions measuring 7 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Thomas Hart Benton, David Klein, and Adolf Dehn. Martin Lewis prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $700 and tops out at $80,000, while the average work can sell for $24,500.

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