(Dock Workers under the Brooklyn Bridge). c. 1916-18. Aquatint and etching. McCarron 15. 17 3/4 x 23 3/4 (sheet 26 x 31). 5 recorded impressions (including 4 trial proofs), plus a proposed edition of 100 issued by Kennedy Galleries in 1973 (fewer proofs were printed). A rich impression printed on cream wove paper with full margins. Annotated '26/100' and signed 'Martin Lewis (L. D. L. 1973) by Louise Deming, the artist's wife. Housed in a dramatic 26 1/2 x 31 1/2-inch black/brown wood frame. $10,000. The last retail price I found for a lifetime impression was $40,000 in 2016.
The iconic Brooklyn Bridge is on the right.
There are only approximately 5 lifetime impressions of this subject. In 1972, Kennedy Galleries, New York, planned a reprinting of this plate, with the consent of the artist's estate, to coincide with a major two-part retrospective exhibition of Lewis' work. The projected edition was 100; however after the first 50 were printed and sales were slow, the intended second 50 were never printed. The plate is in the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Paul McCarron writes: "This print has been dated circa 1916-18 based upon evidence from preparatory drawings as well as Wstylistic similarities to other prints from those years. There are two estate drawings (LDL-287 and -288) which, when placed together, illustrate a continuous sweep of the Manhattan skyline as viewed from the Brooklyn side of the East River; they were apparently done as studies for the background of this print. The drawings bear pencil inscriptions by Lewis: "East River Skyline/ (about 1918)" and "[N.Y.C. skyline E. River (about 1918)." In addition to the skyline drawings, there are five undated studies of single male figures (LDL-223-27), all on thin paper) that correspond to the main figures in this print." (page 67).
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