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Etchings of 1920s Life

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June 13, 2016 by kristin

When browsing for inspiration images for my Prohibition-era manuscript, I came across a blog post about Australian-born artist Martin Lewis (1881-1962). His etchings of 1920s/30s street scenes and everyday life in New York City are some of the most beautiful and evocative images I’ve seen of the time period.

"Glow of the City," 1929, by Martin Lewis

“Glow of the City,” 1929, by Martin Lewis

I’ve tried to find a museum where I could see these works in person. Many are held by the Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum, but they all appear to be “currently not on view.” Makes me sad to think of these gorgeous etchings stored away in files somewhere. I wish they were all hanging on my walls!

"Shadow Dance," 1930, by Martin Lewis

“Shadow Dance,” 1930, by Martin Lewis

I could always buy Glow of the City for $62,500 from The Old Print Shop, but I guess I will just have to enjoy it in digital form!

"Relics," 1929, by Martin Lewis

“Relics,” 1929, by Martin Lewis

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About Kristin

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Historical fiction writer and reader. Procrastinator. Sewist. Slytherin. Fan of red lipstick, rock 'n' roll, and everything vintage.

Current Work-in-Progress

The Boy in the Red Dress

When her drag queen best friend is accused of murdering a socialite, a Jazz Age Veronica Mars searches for the real killer in the seedy underbelly and glittering upper crust of 1931 New Orleans.


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