Artist Biography

Harry Emerson LEWIS
1892 - 1958

Harry 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 (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, he is best known for his watercolor landscapes; he also did portraits and commercial illustrations. Member: San Francisco Art Ass'n; Bay Region Art Ass'n; Palette & Chisel Club, Chicago; Western Art Ass'n; Society for Sanity in Art; Los Angeles Art Ass'n; Oakland Art Ass'n; Santa Cruz Art Ass'n. Exhibited: 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 Ass'n, 1934 (award); California State Fair, 1938 (award); California Palace of Legion of Honor, 1939 (award); National Defense Poster, 1941(award). Works held: California Historical Society; Department of Internal Revenue; Grand Rapids Music College; Roosevelt and El Dorado Hotels (Hollywood).

Return to artwork page.