Martin Lewis’ New York City in Stunning Etchings

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Martin Lewis (14 June 1881 – 22 February 1962) was an Australian-born American etcher. Lewis left Australia for the United States in 1900 and had his first job in San Francisco, painting stage decorations for William McKinley’s presidential campaign. By 1909, Lewis was living in New York, where he found work in commercial illustration. His earliest known etching is dated 1915. It was during this period that he helped Edward Hopper learn the basics of etching.
In 1920, 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 1924, he returned to etching and produced most of his well-known works between 1925 and 1935. Lewis’s exhibitions in 1927-1928 were 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-tourists, 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. When Lewis was able to return to New York City in 1936, there was no longer a market interested in his work. He taught printmaking at the Art Students League of New York from 1944 until his retirement in 1952. Lewis died largely forgotten in 1962.
Take a look at Lewis’ stunning etchings through 28 pictures below:

New York City

New York City

New York City

Stoops in snow

New York children

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