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Stanley Lewis (1905 - 2009)

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Stanley Lewis (1905-2009) was reluctant to sell his art during his life-time. He kept all his major works. He later gave some to museums. He turned down offers from galleries, preferring to work without constraints, choosing to earn a much needed regular income through teaching (over 10 years at Newport School of Art and 22 years as Principal of Carmarthen School of Art). Stanley’s art has period charm. It occupies a backwater (rather than the mainstream) of British Art - this is the unmapped territory that art historians will increasingly look at as accounts of 20th Century British Art are revised. His work is highly distinctive and he remained faithful throughout his life to a graphic and stylised manner developed early on in his career. Perhaps the most enduring aspect of his legacy is the remarkable cycle of paintings exhibited at the Royal Academy celebrating Welsh subjects: The Welsh Dress, The Welsh Mole Catcher, The Welsh Farmer, and The Welsh Dresser. There is arguably no other series of genre paintings in British Art which capture so evocatively Welsh identity. Stanley also strongly identified with the land: on the one hand his calling to art was a vocation; on the other his approach was disarmingly unpretentious: ‘I must admit instinct has kept me on the straight-and-narrow path to carry on working my art into what I am: I am a farmer’s son and I have never craved to be in any one else’s shoes.’ Stanley produced little in the way of major paintings during the last decades of the 20th century, though he did continue to draw, (often reworking earlier drawings), and increasingly put his energy into producing and publishing his book illustrations. In his 101st year, in 2006, Stanley published a last edition of drawings under the title: Adventures in Animal Town, using computer software (Photoshop) to add colour to the remarkable images which half a decade earlier, in black and white, had graced the pages of the South Wales Evening Post. (Fig. 2) Stanley first contacted Liss Fine Art (by email!), aged 101, wanting to know what had happened to his former mentors Thomas Monnington and A.K. Lawrence. Stanley’s career spanned a large part of the 20th century. Yet the fruit of his labour was never publicly exhibited. This is the first ever exhibition of his work. Stanley put his longevity down to cigars, whisky and Michelangelo. He took great pleasure in helping prepare the notes in this catalogue. Recalling events from between 50 and 90 years ago it is remarkable how accurate his memory proved to be. It is sad that Stanley is not alive to see this exhibition. Asked, age 103, if he was finally ready for his first ever show, or whether he would like a little more time to prepare, he inhaled gently on his cigar and, with a puff of smoke and a faint chuckle, said: ‘I think I am ready’. The day before he died he asked Jenni his daughter to type up his final wishes: ‘… And when my exhibition is up and running, open a good bottle of champagne and celebrate and think of me. No doubt I will be there in spirit to keep an eye on things.

Lewis was born in Cardiff. He attended Newport College of Art, 1923-6, and the Royal College of Art, 1926-30, teaching at Newport College in the 193os. After war service he became principal of Carmarthen School of Art for 22 years from 1946, then retired and with his wife founded the Pram and Toy Museum at Beckington, Somerset. He illustrated newspaper articles by his wife Min Lewis and her book Laugharne and Dylan Thomas, in 1967, and had one-man shows at various Laugharne Festivals. Showed for many years with Gwent Art Society, SWG and elsewhere and with Michael Ayrton and Enzo Plazzotta shared a three-man show at Bruton Gallery, Somerset. Newport Museum and Art Gallery holds his work. Lewis' show War Images there in 2003 was based on a large unfinished World War II painting and preparatory draw¬ings which the artist donated to the collection.   His first retrospective, organised by Liss Llewellyn Fine Art in 2010, took place at Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum.

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Artist Stanley Lewis: Study of Joan in profile, 1929
Stanley Lewis
Study of Joan in profile, 1929  For sale
£675
Artist Stanley Lewis: Edith circa 1930
Stanley Lewis
Edith circa 1930  For sale
£1400
Artist Stanley Lewis: Chicken, dog, fence and kennel at Llwyn-On, Croesyceiliog
Stanley Lewis
Chicken  For sale
£250
Artist Stanley Lewis: A Great Hare
Stanley Lewis
A Great Hare  For sale
£225
Artist Stanley Lewis: Mother and child with baby
Stanley Lewis
Mother and child with baby  For sale
£275
Artist Stanley Lewis: Forging the wheel
Stanley Lewis
Forging the wheel  For sale
£250
Artist Stanley Lewis: Domestic Bliss: Stanley and Min in the garden at 14 Dales Road Newport, 1939
Stanley Lewis
Domestic Bliss: Stanley and Min in...  For sale
£475
Artist Stanley Lewis: Stanley and Min gardening at Dales Road Newport, cira 1939
Stanley Lewis
Stanley and Min gardening at Dales...  For sale
£275
Artist Stanley Lewis: Farmer leaning on a fence tending his pigs, circa 1925
Stanley Lewis
Farmer leaning on a fence tending...  For sale
£320
Artist Stanley Lewis: Watering the garden - old man pouring out jugs, circa 1925
Stanley Lewis
Watering the garden - old man...  For sale
£275
Artist Stanley Lewis: View from WW2 billet, Great Burstead,1944
Stanley Lewis
View from WW2 billet  For sale
£340
Artist Stanley Lewis: French nude, study
Stanley Lewis
French nude, study  For sale
£215
Artist Stanley Lewis: Digging the allotement, mid 1920s
Stanley Lewis
Digging the allotement, mid 1920's  For sale
£275
Artist Stanley Lewis: Men cutting a limb from a tree, in the garden at Llwyn-On, Croesyceiliog, mid 1920s
Stanley Lewis
Men cutting a limb from a tree  For sale
£345
Artist Stanley Lewis: An early study for Hyde Park, late 1920s
Stanley Lewis
An early study for Hyde Park  For sale
£250
Artist Stanley Lewis: London street scene: figures waiting, circa 1925
Stanley Lewis
London street scene: figures waiting  For sale
£225
Artist Stanley Lewis: Study for Hyde Park, circa 1930
Stanley Lewis
Study for Hyde Park, circa 1930  For sale
£625
Artist Stanley Lewis: Study for Hyde Park, circa 1931, the artists coat and hat
Stanley Lewis
Study for Hyde Park  For sale
£875
Artist Stanley Lewis: At the circus
Stanley Lewis
At the circus  For sale
£375
Artist Stanley Lewis: The snow laden garden at Llwyn-On, Croesyceiliog, circa 1935
Stanley Lewis
The snow laden garden at Llwyn-On  For sale
£800
Artist Stanley Lewis: Portrait study of Edith, circa 1932
Stanley Lewis
Portrait study of Edith, circa 1932  For sale
£1400
Artist Stanley Lewis: Study of a roundhead
Stanley Lewis
Study of a roundhead  For sale
£425
Artist Stanley Lewis: Terraced houses, Carmarthen
Stanley Lewis
Terraced houses, Carmarthen  For sale
£675
Artist Stanley Lewis: Study of Hyde Park, circa 1931
Stanley Lewis
Study of Hyde Park, circa 1931  For sale
£425
Artist Stanley Lewis: Study for Hyde Park, circa 1930, seated man seated extreme right
Stanley Lewis
Study for Hyde Park  For sale
£850
Artist Stanley Lewis: The Fat Cat
Stanley Lewis
The Fat Cat  For sale
£465
Artist Stanley Lewis: Farmer leaning on a fence tending pigs, circa 1925
Stanley Lewis
Farmer leaning on a fence tending pigs  For sale
£225
Artist Stanley Lewis: Well Make Room for you...
Stanley Lewis
We'll Make Room for you...  For sale
£250
Artist Stanley Lewis: Study of a traction engine
Stanley Lewis
Study of a traction engine  For sale
£175
Artist Stanley Lewis: Searchlights
Stanley Lewis
Searchlights  For sale
£275
Artist Stanley Lewis: Speakers Corner
Stanley Lewis
Speakers Corner  For sale
£275
Artist Stanley Lewis: A lap dog and his Knight - illustration for The South Wales Evening Post , circa 1950
Stanley Lewis
A lap dog and his Knight -...  For sale
£225
Artist Stanley Lewis: High frequency radio receivers.,study for The Searchlight, circa 1942
Stanley Lewis
High frequency radio receivers.  For sale
£175
Artist Stanley Lewis: Canvas protective pack, probably for a high frequency radio receiver, circa 1942
Stanley Lewis
Canvas protective pack  For sale
£120
Artist Stanley Lewis: Man pushing a bicycle, 1920s
Stanley Lewis
Man pushing a bicycle, 1920's  For sale
£210
Artist Stanley Lewis: Study for Hyde Park in Summer - the artists sister Margaret with a bicycle , 1931
Stanley Lewis
Study for Hyde Park in Summer - the...  For sale
£275
Artist Stanley Lewis: In the back yard, mending a puncture, late 1920s
Stanley Lewis
In the back yard  For sale
£1100
Artist Stanley Lewis: Illustration for Under Milk Wood, 1950s
Stanley Lewis
Illustration for Under Milk Wood  For sale
£595
Artist Stanley Lewis: Toy Town, illustration 21; Standing to attention
Stanley Lewis
Toy Town  For sale
£265
Artist Stanley Lewis: Adventures in Animal Town, illustration 4; Moles Buses
Stanley Lewis
Adventures in Animal Town  For sale
£300
Artist Stanley Lewis: Adventures in Animal Town, illustration 25 - The Failed Ascent
Stanley Lewis
Adventures in Animal Town  For sale
£295
Artist Stanley Lewis: Toy Town, the fortune teller (22)
Stanley Lewis
Toy Town, the fortune teller (22)  For sale
£275
Artist Stanley Lewis: Toy Town, illustration 24; The goat who could see into the future......
Stanley Lewis
Toy Town  For sale
£325
Artist Stanley Lewis: Adventures in Animal Town, illustration 17
Stanley Lewis
Adventures in Animal Town  For sale
£250
Artist Stanley Lewis: Study for Hyde Park: the Artists Painting satchel and hat
Stanley Lewis
Study for Hyde Park: the Artist's...  For sale
£750
Artist Stanley Lewis: The Merry Go Round, Newport, circa 1925
Stanley Lewis
The Merry Go Round, Newport, circa 1925  For sale
£750
Artist Stanley Lewis: Small Study of Paint Brushes, 1960
Stanley Lewis
Small Study of Paint Brushes, 1960  For sale
£580
Artist Stanley Lewis: Analytical Sketch of Piero della Francescas Nativity, early 1920s
Stanley Lewis
Analytical Sketch of Piero della...  For sale
£450
Artist Stanley Lewis: Illustrations from The South Wales Evening Post
Stanley Lewis
Illustrations from The South Wales...  For sale
£600
Artist Stanley Lewis: Eyes to the Right, Eyes to the Left, early 1940s
Stanley Lewis
Eyes to the Right  For sale
£780
Artist Stanley Lewis: Study for Hyde Park, Figures (2), 1931
Stanley Lewis
Study for Hyde Park, Figures (2), 1931  For sale
£480
Artist Stanley Lewis: The Life Class, Newport School of Art, c.1935
Stanley Lewis
The Life Class  For sale
£660
Artist Stanley Lewis: Flying cup
Stanley Lewis
Flying cup  For sale
£475
Artist Stanley Lewis: Study for Hyde Park, The Artists Mother seated, sewing
Stanley Lewis
Study for Hyde Park  For sale
£675
Artist Stanley Lewis: Colour Study for the Central Group of Allegory, c. 1929
Stanley Lewis
Colour Study for the Central Group...  For sale 
Artist Stanley Lewis: Study for Hyde Park, Mrs Roberts of Newport, seated sewing
Stanley Lewis
Study for Hyde Park  Sold 
Artist Stanley Lewis: Grecian Profile - drawn on the cover of a Charcoal Sketch Book
Stanley Lewis
Grecian Profile - drawn on the cover...  Sold 
Artist Stanley Lewis: Market stall selling clothes, circa 1940
Stanley Lewis
Market stall selling clothes  Sold 
Artist Stanley Lewis: Torso - study, circa 1925
Stanley Lewis
Torso - study, circa 1925  Sold 
Artist Stanley Lewis: The Artists Mother peeling potatoes, mid 1920s
Stanley Lewis
The Artists Mother peeling potatoes  Sold 
Artist Stanley Lewis: Allegory, c. 1929
Stanley Lewis
Allegory, c. 1929  Sold 
Artist Stanley Lewis: The Fun Fair at Newport, circa 1925
Stanley Lewis
The Fun Fair at Newport, circa 1925  Sold