Posts Tagged ‘Martin Lewis’

A snowy, windy day on the Sixth Avenue El

December 30, 2013

Martin Lewis’ 1931 drypoint etching “Snow on the El” reveals the Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street el station on a wet, snowy, blustery winter’s day.

Snowontheelmartinlewis1931

The woman in the foreground looks warm in her coat. The poor guy at the newsstand under the stairs probably isn’t so toasty.

More of Martin Lewis’ evocative etchings of New York in the 1930s can be found here.

Sleet and snowy stoops on a West Side street

February 4, 2013

Australian-born Martin Lewis’ “Stoops in the Snow” dates to 1930—and it perfectly balances the still beauty of a New York snowfall with the miserable struggle that ensues while trying to navigate it.

This scene could depict almost any residential New York block, with its uniform brownstone steps and elevated train platform in the distance.

Stoopsinthesnow

Luckily Lewis’ original title for the etching, “Stoops in the Snow, West 40s,” narrows down the neighborhood for us.

Lewis tends to keep the locations of his etchings vague, as he did with this piece depicting a busy workday morning somewhere in the city.

“Night in New York” on a darkened street

August 20, 2012

This shadowy and mysterious Martin Lewis etching from 1932 presents a lone young woman dressed for a night on the town.

Is she on her way to a date or a party—or is she coming back alone, mourning another evening that didn’t quite pan out as she’d hoped?

Under an arch in Astoria at midnight, 1930

May 21, 2012

Martin Lewis titled this drypoint etching Arch, Midnight. The people under the arch don’t look like they’re up to much good.

He reportedly considered two alternate titles, “Archway, Midnight” and “The Arch Over the Street, Astoria.”

Does anyone know where exactly this dark, shadowy underpass is in Astoria, and if it still exists?

A Depression-era gang on Bedford Street

February 20, 2012

Another wonderful etching from Martin Lewis, this one titled “Bedford Street Gang” and dating to 1935.

The theater wall says “44th Street,” but this corner looks an awful lot like the intersection where Bedford Street ends at Christopher Street. The Lucille Lorton Theater is there today.

“Quarter of Nine” on a busy New York street

December 1, 2011

Here’s another lovely Martin Lewis etching, this one entitled “Quarter of Nine, Saturday’s Children,” from the pivotal year of 1929.

I tried to research what block this is but came up empty. That looks like an armory on the right—could it be the demolished armory that once stood at Park Avenue and 34th Street?

Check out another Martin Lewis street scene with a now-solved mystery location in Queens.

“East Side Night, Williamsburg Bridge”

June 2, 2011

Martin Lewis’ 1928 etching illuminates some of the city’s mysterious layers, levels, and corners. This piece belongs to the Brooklyn Museum . . . which for some reason doesn’t have it on view, according to the website.

Memo to New York museum curators: An exhibit of Lewis’ etchings is long overdue!

“Spring Night, Greenwich Village”

March 31, 2011

Martin Lewis created this shadowy etching of an ordinary Village street in 1930. According to Artnet.com:

“At the time Lewis made Spring Night, Greenwich Village he lived at 111 Bedford Street (which may be the street depicted in the print), in the Village, and was immersed in the intellectual and artistic life of the neighborhood.”

“His exhibit at Kennedy Galleries in 1929 had been a great success, and he discontinued the commercial art work he had been doing.

“But of course the Great Depression changed everything; Lewis and his wife gave up their house in the Village and moved to Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

“He set up a short-lived printmaking school in the Village in 1934 (with Armin Landeck and the printmaker George Miller), and moved back to the Village in 1936.”

Looking into Edward Hopper’s “Night Windows”

December 6, 2010

Most of us have found ourselves on either end of this kind of scenario—painted in 1928 by Greenwich Village resident Hopper.

The Whitney has an exhibition of Edward Hopper paintings and prints, as well as those of his contemporaries like Martin Lewis and Reginald Marsh. It runs through April 2011.

A late traveler makes her way to the subway

October 20, 2010

A woman descends the subway stairs in “Late Traveler,” a 1949 drypoint etching by Martin Lewis.

It’s noirish and mysterious. I think we’ve all been this woman at some point or another, making our way through a quiet, lonely city in the dark.

“Late Traveler” is part of the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts. View a close-up of the etching here.


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