Lewis, Hon. Edwin O. (1879-1974)
Edwin O. Lewis (1879-1974) was a long-time member of the Athenaeum and its President from 1950 to 1955. Born in Richmond, VA, Lewis came to Philadelphia at the age of eighteen to attend the University Of Pennsylvania Law School. In 1923 he was elected Judge of Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas, a position he held for thirty-four years.
Lewis's distinguished record of public service is highlighted by his efforts to restore the Independence Hall area. He was the leader of the drive which created both Independence Mall and the Independence National Historical Park in the 1950s. The Mall's Lewis Quadrangle and the Lewis fountain were named for him.
In this portrait, by Agnes Allen (b. 1897), Lewis holds the Independence Mall blueprints. A native Philadelphian, Allen specialized in portraiture; she studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Barnes Foundation. Frame is an early 20th-century reproduction, installed in 2001.
26" x 32"
Oil on canvas
Probably aqcuired from the artist. The painting was unveiled at the Athenaeum in October of 1959 at a reception held in honor of Judge Lewis.
General Collection, Museum Collection, The Athenaeum of Philadelphia