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 Ted Lewy  (1912 - 1963)

About: Ted Lewy
 

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Lived/Active: California / Germany/Russian Federation      Known for: commercial art, mural, architecture

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Call to Prayer
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, written and submitted by Barry Heisler, Director Fine Arts, of Auctions By The Bay Inc. His sources are relatives of the artist.


Born on September 4, 1912 in Schubin, West Prussia, Ted Lewy, commercial artist, illustrator and landscape painter, attended a German business school and an art school after his graduation. Finding the art school more stimulating and being a gifted draftsman, he soon started to travel throughout Europe and the Far East before arriving in San Francisco in the late 1930s. His commercial talents were quickly realized and he soon was able to maintain studio spaces in both Hamburg, Germany and San Francisco however the start of World War II put an end to this working arrangement.

He enlisted in the Army, leaving his wife Edith behind but even during the war he continued to make art-now for the Aid Training Division of the Army Air Force.

Upon his return to San Francisco, Ted Lewy immediately applied his energies and talents to producing works in and about his American home. He produced numerous mural paintings for some of the most popular and trendy restaurants of the day, Tarantino's, La Tosca Café, New Delmonico, Sabella and la Torre and the Lost Week-End, many of which have survived to the present day.

His commercial success was also linked to his work for a host of famous hotels in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York in which he immortalized each particular building's architecture on paper which in turn was used to embellish a number of hostess products available at each location. Coinciding with these commissions Lewy was also hired by the Coca Cola Company to design advertising posters, calendars, gift boxes and other ephemera.

Lewy experienced great financial success with these projects as well as his even more prolific one of celebrating the views and attractions of San Francisco. During his lifetime it is estimated that nearly 2,000,000 million postcards, posters and other products were sold using his designs. Lewy was a master at self promotion and his images proved to be so popular that in 1962 he was proclaimed the "Artist Laureate of San Francisco".

Throughout his life he had a ceaseless urge to travel and paint, capturing the far away as well as the down the road sites on his watercolor paper. Sadly, the artist died quite unexpectedly in 1963 and it is likely that with the renewed attention to California Watercolorists, that this artist may soon be rediscovered.





This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Germany on Sept. 4, 1912. Lewy studied art in Hamburg, Germany and then was an illustrator there until 1938. After a few months in Hong Kong and Shanghai, he sailed to San Francisco. During WWII he served in the Army Air Corps as an artist until discharged in 1946. He then returned to San Francisco and remained until his demise of heart failure on April 3, 1963. Member: SWA.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
Death record; SF Chronicle, 4-25-1963 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

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