Works in the Collection
Norman W. Lewis was born in Harlem, New York in 1909 to parents who had emigrated from Bermuda. Lewis travelled extensively as a young man working on ocean freighters and participated in the W.P.A. art projects in New York. He was mentored by sculptor Augusta Savage, who provided him with studio space at the Harlem Art Center. He was an early member of the Spiral Group, which also included Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, Ralph Ellison, and Jacob Lawrence. One of his best known paintings, “Migrating Birds” (1954), won the Popular Prize at the Carnegie Museum’s 1955 Carnegie International Exhibition, the New York Herald -Tribune calling the painting “one of the most significant of all events of the 1955 art year.” He received a grant from the Mark Rothko Foundation and a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1975 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Works by Norman Lewis are in the private collections of Bill and Camille Cosby and Lewis Tanner Moore and have been exhibited at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute; New Jersey State Museum; The Studio Museum in Harlem; and The National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC. The artist died in 1979.