“The Glow of the City,” 1929

Australian-born artist Martin Lewis casts a magical glow on an otherwise gritty city scene of laundry, fire escapes, and tenements. 

That’s the Chanin Building, an Art Deco skyscraper on 42nd Street, the woman is gazing at dreamily.

It’s just one of Lewis’ many drypoint etchings that capture New York street life in the 1920s and 1930s.

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9 Responses to ““The Glow of the City,” 1929”

  1. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    But it looks like the McGraw Hill building on West 42 St, west of the Chanin Bldg. That’s the way they lit up at night. I may be wrong.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Hmm, now I wonder. I’ll try to see if Lewis himself ever specified. But in the meantime:

    Here’s the Chanin Building:

    Here’s McGraw-Hill:

  3. petey Says:

    i’ve seen it for sale, and want it real bad, but it’s a tad pricey:
    http://www.oldprintshop.com/cgi-bin/gallery.pl?action=detail&inventory_id=126&itemno=6. it looks like my back view, except for the skyscraper. (i have no connection w/ the old print shop, except as a customer)

    • Lynn Says:

      You said that this picture “looks like my back view”. I take it that you live in this area. I have been trying to figure out where this neighborhood that Lewis drew was located. I believe that the woman is looking at the Chanin Bldg. She must be fairly close. Any ideas? I suppose that all these tenements have been pulled down, but I love the “then and now” concept and would like to see what is currently in this area where she was standing. Any suggestions?

    • Lynn Says:

      I should add that I found this photo that is very reminiscent of Lewis’ picture: http://tinyurl.com/3hhr9uz

    • Lynn Says:

      I found out where the church and the tenements were in this picture. The church is St. Gabriel’s Church, which was formerly located at 308-310 E. 37th St. (accounts of the address vary). That would make the tenements between 36th and 37th Sts. and 2nd Ave. on the north and Tunnel Entrance St. on the south. The church and tenements were torn down to make way for the tunnel project.

  4. wildnewyork Says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of dough! It is enchanting though. I could look at it for hours on end.

  5. Edward Hopper’s “Night Windows” « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] has an exhibition of Hopper paintings and prints, as well as those of his contemporaries like Martin Lewis and Reginald Marsh, through April […]

  6. Lynn Says:

    I found this photo which shows St. Gabriel’s Park. Note the steeple of the church. This is the church in Lewis’ etching. The tenements in the photo are those in the etching. Here is the link.
    You may have to copy and paste the link.
    The woman in the etching would be standing in the area that is between the buildings which we cannot see in the photo.
    Still, this is really neat, being able to see the photo of the place that Lewis used for his artwork.
    And it is nearly from the same angle. The Chanin Bldg. is also visible.

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