The Biggs Museum of American Art is proud to feature over 50 paintings by Delaware’s “Ultimate Hidden Gem” artist Jack Lewis. This unique exhibition, which is on display through Nov. 22, is a rare look at the example’s of Lewis’s work from private collections. The core of the exhibition is drawn from gifts given to the Biggs Museum and the Rehoboth Art League from area collectors such as Paul Baker and Sam Profetta. The other half of this exhibition was curated from private collections throughout Kent and Sussex Counties.
These rarely seen examples were selected to highlight areas in the Mid-Atlantic Region – most from the Delmarva Peninsula – and to demonstrate the range of from Jack’s artistic career from his early years on the Peninsula in the 1930s to works he completed in the late 1980s. As often as possible, the original Lewis painting drawn from this 50-year period, will be compared to photographs of the same areas as they appear today. For those visitors who would like to enjoy this artwork from a distance, you will be able to download a regional driving tour of some of Jack’s favorite places to paint and see these inspiring sites of Delaware for yourselves!
Jack Lewis moved to Delaware in the 1930s to record the labors of the Civilian Conservation Corps – a federal program to employ workers during the Great Depression. The artist brought a distinctively modern new aesthetic to the state’s art scene depicting the towns, architecture, people, and natural beauty of the Delmarva Peninsula. Every day, he would wake, pick a destination and drive until he found scene that would cause him to stop. Hundreds of Delawareans have memories of this fun-loving artist visiting their towns to make a few plein aire paintings from the side of the road. His artistic style spanned for representational to increasingly more abstract simplifying his subjects into compositions of color patterns and wild gestures of his watercolor brushes.