A passion for Mexican modernism: The Lewin Family Collection
Masterworks from the personal collection of Bernard Lewin, a pioneer in the market for Mexican art, are offered in the Latin American Art sales on 22 & 23 November
For generations, the Lewin family of Palm Springs, California, has been passionately dedicated to the study, promotion and collecting of Latin American art. Their legacy began in 1954 when Bernard Lewin (1906-2003) saw his first painting by Mexican modernist Rufino Tamayo. From that chance encounter, Lewin went on to amass one of the largest personal collections of Mexican modernism in the United States and to introduce countless individuals to the artists he so loved through his eponymous galleries in Beverly Hills and Palm Springs.
Lewin arrived in California in 1938 after fleeing Nazi Germany with his wife Edith (1911-1999) and their four-year-old son and only child Ralph. He began making a living for his family by moving furniture before moving on to buying and selling estates and eventually opening his own furniture store.
Slowly he began to notice not only the furniture but also the fine art collections of his clients and was inspired to learn more. Determined to meet some of the artists he had come to admire and better familiarise himself with their work, Lewin made his first trip to Mexico in 1958. He visited the studio of Federico Cantú and bought some Engravings , cavas and asks the artist to design the logo of the Gallery, also visit Diego Rivera and bought some of the deceased artist’s sketchbooks from the 1930s.
The Lewin Family Collection
Retrato de Gloria con paisaje
Federico Cantú 1907-1989
Oleo sobre Tela
Fascinated by Mexican art, Lewin eventually gave up the furniture business and established his art gallery in 1968 in Beverly Hills, where he championed the work of such luminaries as Rufino Tamayo, Federico Cantú, Ricardo Martinez, Alfredo Ramos Marinez, Jesús Guerrero Galvan Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Carlos Mérida, Francisco Zúñiga and many others now offered for sale at Christie’s.
LACMA The Lewin Family Collection mexican-mural-study-federico-cantú
With Lewins’ generous gift, LACMA instantly became the steward for one of the most comprehensive collections of Mexican modernism in the country
Today the Cantú Y de Teresa Art Collection holds the largest collection of portraits dedicated to the figure of Gloria, this collection includes ink, canvas and sculpture engraving
All of them have been exhibited in the main museums in America, museums such as: Philadelphia Museum, Santa Barbara Museum, MOMA, Metropolitan Museum, Art Club of Chicago, Palace of Fine Arts Museum, MAM
CYDT owns the original designs that Federico dedicated to The Lewin gallery