Henry Emerson Lewis (1892-1958)

Henry Emerson Lewis was born in Hutchinson, Kansas on February 28, 1892. He studied art early in life with his father Edward Henry Lewis (known as Edel in art circles). The younger Lewis attended high school in Grand Rapids, Michigan and furthered his art training at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 1912-13. 

 

After serving as an instructor of camouflage in the Army in World War One, he spent three years studying art in Florence, Milan, Rome, and the Sorbonne in Paris. 

 

Returning to the United States, he worked for awhile in the Boston studio of Alexander Robinson before entering the Art Institute of Chicago for further study. He later taught there until his move to southern California in 1924. 

 

Lewis lived in Hollywood and in 1931 moved to San Francisco. While active in the San Francisco art world, he maintained a home across the bay in Corte Madera. About 1945 he moved to Laguna Beach, and the last four years of his life were spent in Santa Ana, California, where he died on August 17, 1958. 

 

A highly versatile artist, Harry Emerson Lewis is best known for his watercolor landscapes; he also did portraits and commercial illustrations. 

 

He was a member of the San Francisco Art Association; Bay Region Art Association; Palette & Chisel Club, Chicago; Western Art Association; Society for Sanity in Art; Los Angeles Art Association; Oakland Art Association; and Santa Cruz Art Association. 

 

He exhibited at the Delgado Museum, New Orleans; Beaux Arts, Paris; American Painters & Sculptors; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1931; Artists Fiesta, Los Angeles, 1931 (first prize); California Statewide, Santa Cruz, 1932; Santa Cruz Art League, 1934, 1938; Los Angeles Art Association, 1934 (award); California State Fair, 1938 (award); California Palace of Legion of Honor, 1939 (award); National Defense Poster, 1941 (award). 

 

The paintings of Harry Lewis Emerson are in the California Historical Society; Department of Internal Revenue; Grand Rapids Music College; Roosevelt and El Dorado Hotels, Hollywood. 

 

Exhibition Record (Museums, Institutions and Awards): 

Delgado Museum; Beaux Arts, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1931; Santa Cruz Art League, 1934 & 1938; 

 

Memberships: 

Palette & Chisel Club; Artist League of San Francisco; San Francisco Art Association; Bay Region Art Assoc; Western Art Association; Society for Sanity in Art; Los Angeles Art Association; Oakland Art Assoc; Santa Cruz Art Association 

 

Exh: Delgado Museum (New Orleans); Beaux Arts (Paris); American Painters & Sculptors, LACMA, 1931; Oakland Art Gallery, 1930s; Artists Fiesta (LA), 1931 (1st prize); Calif. Statewide (Santa Cruz), 1932; Santa Cruz Art League, 1934, 1938; LA AA, 1934 (award); Calif. State Fair, 1938 (award); CPLH, 1939 (award); Nat'l Defense Poster, 1941(award). In: CHS; Dept. of Internal Revenue; Grand Rapids Music College; Roosevelt and El Dorado Hotels (Hollywood).

 

AWARDS:

Los Angeles Art Assoc, 1934; California State Fair, 1938; California Legion of Honor, 1939; National Defense Poster, 1941

 

COLLECTIONS:

Murals for the Municipal Collection, 132 City of Grand Rapids; Warner Brothers; Hotel Roosevelt, Hollywood, CA; Grand Rapids Public Schools; San Francisco Public Library; California Historical Society.

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