Fran Lew is a representational artist, trained in classic academic realism. Her work sets the bar for the heights an artist can aspire to. Adhering to the time tested techniques and training of the Old Masters; this path is less traveled, especially in recent times, as it can be a difficult and arduous path, and it takes spiritual strength, strong conviction in artistic beliefs, and inspiration by beauty to stay on it.
Fran Lew comes from a long line of artists and philosophers. She began drawing at her father’s side at the early age of three. Her formal studies earned her anMFAdegree fromBostonUniversity. She did her postgraduate work inVenice,Italyat the renownedPalazzoGrassiInternationalCenterfor Painting and Design. In New York City, she studied at the Art Students League under masters Daniel Greene and John Howard Sanden; and later moved to White Plains, New York, where she studied under the tutelage of the renowned award winning instructor, Cesare Borgia; protégé of the late Frank Reilly, and founder of the Reilly League of Artists.
The late Frank Reilly is considered one ofAmerica’s foremost teachers of realism; and Fran Lew’s growth as an artist is chiefly attributed to her exposure to the Reilly principles of painting. This influence was everywhere evident at her exhibits, among which were Portraits and Figures at the prestigious Columbus Club andGrandCentralArtGalleriesinNew York City. Everyone seeing her work is at once impressed with the deep respect Fran Lew has for the traditions of the Old Masters presented through her own contemporary vision.
“Ms. Lew is noted for her ability to synthesize a classically-based technique with a contemporary sensitivity. She disarms the formality of the portrait genre by the warmth and humanity of her perception. Her intelligence and receptivity are vital contributing factors to her accomplished style ”. --Grand Central Art Galleries
Her official portrait of Mrs. Mario M. Cuomo, former First Lady of New York, is on public exhibit at theBrooklynHistoricalSocietyMuseum.
“The painting is "superb... and I'll tell you why. Matilda has a special quality, a warmth and gentleness that not every photograph captures. But this artist has captured it". --Former New York Governor Mario M. Cuomo
Ms. Lew's list of subjects includes Heads of State, Captains of Industry, Stars of Stage and Film, distinguished Members of the Clergy and Medical Profession, and Nobel Laureates. Ms. Lew's works can be found in many private, corporate, and museum collections.
Education: Brooklyn College with Philip Pearlstein, BA (with Honors in Art), 1966; Boston University School of Fine Art and Applied Art,MFA, 1968; International Center of Paintings and Costume Design, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy, with Gregory Battcock, Archimedes Seguso, 1978; Art Students League, New York, with Daniel Greene, Robert Beverly Hale, and John Howard Sanden, 1978-79; Reilly League of Artists, New York, with Cesare Borgia, 1979-82.
Public Collections: CornellMuseum;SherwinMillerMuseum;MaitlandArtCenterMuseum; State ofIsrael Collection;Brooklyn HistoricalSocietyMuseum.
Select Commissions: portrait, Interpublic Group of Companies,New York; portrait, Tambrands. New York; portrait, Testwell Craig Corp, New York; portrait, Grant Industries, New Jersey; portrait, Metropolitan Geriatric Center, New York; portrait, Matilda Cuomo, First Lady of New York, portrait, Governor Mario M. Cuomo, New York; portrait, Dr. Vincent du Vigneaud (Nobel Laureate), New York; portrait, Henry Graff, historian, Columbia University, New York; portrait, Rabbi Maurice Davis, New York.
Select Solo Exhibitions: Columbus Club, New York, 1982; Manhattan Borough President’s Art Gallery, New York, 1989; Pen & Brush Club, New York, 1989; Coalition of Italo-American Assns., New York, 1990; Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, 1990. Group Exhibs: Palazzo Grassi International Center of Painting and Costume Design, Venice, Italy, 1978; National Arts Club, New York, 1986; Salmagundi Club, 1985, 86, 87; American Artist Magazine Golden Anniversary Exhib. John Pence Gallery, San Francisco, California, 1987; Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, 1987; Hudson Valley Art Assn., New York, 1986-94; Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, New York, 1986-89.
Teaching: Instructor art, American International School, Israel, 1971-72; Chairwoman art department, Palisades Park, New Jersey, 1973-80; private studio and workshop instruction 1980-1997; Lecturer, business and art organizations, 1980-1997.
Select Awards: Gold Medal, Knickerbocker Artists, Thora M. Jensen Award, Hudson Valley Art Assn., Sharon Ortlip Memorial Award, Salmagundi Club, Anna Hyatt Huntington Bronze Medal, First Place Graphic, Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, Crescent Cardboard Company, Corporate Prize, American Artist Magazine Golden Anniversary National Competition, Solo Award-Best In Show, Pen & Brush Club Oil Exhibit, Margaret Dole Portrait Award, Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club.
Select Bibliography: Eds., Northlight Magazine, feature article, Member of The Issue, summer 1982; New York Daily News, May 1986; Drawings in the Golden Anniversary National Art Competition, American Artist Magazine, June 1987; Edward Rubin (author), Manhattan Arts, October 1989; Oggi Magazine, April 1990; Quoted, American Artist Magazine, June 1993; Quoted, Gannet Newspapers Georgette Gouveau (author) 1995; Quoted, New York Post, 1995; Quoted, New York Times, 1995; Whos Who in American Art.