Celebrating the Art of the Print: Martin Lewis

Quarter of Nine–Saturday’s Children, drypoint, 1929. Estimate $15,000 to $20,000

Swann regularly offers works by Martin Lewis in the American Art sections of our Works on Paper auctions, and we have set auction record prices for some of his best known prints of New York City subjects.

Butter and Egg Man’s Holiday, etching and sand ground, 1926. Estimate $2,000 to $3,000


Lewis was born in Australia, trained at the James Ashton school near Sydney, and sailed to the United States in 1900. After working as a commercial illustrator, he traveled to Japan where he studied Japanese printmaking. Upon his return to New York, Lewis began to produce his most celebrated body of work, etchings and drypoints depicting the denizens of the city in their everyday environs.

Chance Meeting, drypoint, 1940-41. Estimate $8,000-12,000


Many of his images capture the energy of the bustling streets, while others show lonely, barely lit street corners or vacationers with their feet in the sands of Coney Island. Tomorrow’s auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings offers a fine assortment of prints by Lewis, some relatively well known, such as Chance Meeting, drypoint, 1940-41, some more scarce, like Butter and Egg Man’s Holiday, etching and sand ground, 1926, which is one of only five impressions to come to auction in the last 25 years.