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Spring Selection; March 2006
 
 

 
Edmund Darch Lewis
(American, 1835–1910)
Independence Hall (The State House), 1885

Ink, watercolor, and gouache on paper, 9 1/2 × 15 1/2 inches (sight)
Signed and dated at lower right: “Edmund D Lewis 1885”

Edmund Darch Lewis was born in Philadelphia. Raised in affluence and educated privately, he was constantly exposed to art and art objects and decided to become a painter, studying for five years with the famous landscapist Paul Weber (1823-1916). Lewis's own work quickly became very popular and he painted a large number of Pennsylvania scenes, such as the one seen here, that were in great demand and brought him a sizable fortune. Lewis enjoyed a prominent position in the artistic and social circles of Philadelphia. He made his home in a double townhouse on Twenty-Second Street, where he regularly entertained at what were considered "small" teas and receptions for not more than two hundred family members and friends. His home was arranged like a museum, since his passion for collecting furniture and art objects of all kinds was second only to his passion for painting. His capacity for work was prodigious, and he literally painted until the day he died.

Lewis exhibited both oils and watercolors at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1854 to 1891, at the Boston Athenaeum from 1858 to 1869, and at numerous small galleries on the East Coast. A catalogue of his work was published in 1985 by the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia.



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