Edmund Darch Lewis (1835-1910)

Edmund Darch Lewis (1835-1910)

Philadelphia native Edmund Darch Lewis was remembered during the nineteenth century as the city’s foremost landscape painter.  He studied locally with Paul Weber between 1850 and 1855, and his early compositions largely depicted the Lehigh and Susquehanna Rivers as well as New England scenery, including the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. 

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By the 1870s and through the 1890s, the artist began painting seascapes with sailing motifs inspired by frequent visits to the summer home of his sister’s family in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Lewis himself remained a bachelor and through the sale of his paintings eventually purchased an impressive townhouse on 22nd Street in Philadelphia where he played host to the city’s social elite and amassed an impressive collection of fine and decorative arts, luxurious furniture and Asian antiques.

Lewis exhibited frequently at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where his work is included in the permanent collection, and also exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association, the Boston Art Club and the Boston Athenaeum. Several additional museums count Lewis’ work among their collections, including the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio, the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia.

References: Falk, Who Was Who in American Art, 1999; Edmund Darch Lewis 1835-1910, exhibition catalogue from the Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1985. 

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