Saturday, April 26, 2014

Camouflage Artist | Harry Emerson Lewis

Emerson Lewis, Gray Dunes and Desert Verbena
We're trying to find information about an American Impressionist painter named Harry Emerson Lewis (1892-1958), aka Emerson Lewis. We've found a few minor news stories that mention him in passing, and a useful biographical note at AskArt. Everyone seems to agree that (as a later news article confirms) he served as a US Army camouflage instructor during World War I.

Born in Hutchinson KS, Lewis' family moved to Grand Rapids MI, where he attended high school. After that, he studied art at Northwestern University in Evanston IL. Following his wartime service, he studied art for three years in France (at the Sorbonne) and in Italy (in Rome, Milan and Florence). Returning to the US, he studied briefly with Boston-area artist Alexander Robinson, as well as at the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1924, he moved to California (Los Angeles initially, then San Francisco, then Santa Ana), where he remained for the rest of his life. He died in 1958.

Emerson Lewis news photo (1942)