Tag Archives: Sam Spade

It’s the Real Thing — The Art of Fran Lew

The dynamic, carefully wrought charcoal drawings by artist Fran Lew are now represented by the Chuck Jones Galleries. With her rich use of texture and subtle emotional undercurrent, Lew’s drawings are more than mere representations of classic film moments, they breathe life into the actors. What would, in lesser hands, be a fine portrait, become living beings in hers. Her unique ability to reach deeply inside her own self to discover the emotional core of her subject separates Lew from other celebrity portrait artists.


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 an MFA degree from Boston University. She did her postgraduate work in Venice, Italy at the renowned Palazzo Grassi International Center for 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 of America’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 and Grand Central Art Galleries in New 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

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Public Collections: Cornell Museum; Sherwin Miller Museum; Maitland Art Center Museum; State of Israel Collection; Brooklyn Historical Society

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 Exhibitions: 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.

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Fran Lew, left, presents her portrait of New York First Lady, Matilda Cuomo to the Honorable Mario Cuomo and his wife, Matilda in a ceremonial unveiling at the prestigious Columbus Club in Manhattan. The portrait was later included in the public tour of the executive mansion in Albany. Photo courtesy New York Daily News.

Call your Chuck Jones Gallery Art Consultant for more details or write to us, info@ChuckJones.com, about adding the work of Fran Lew to your collection.