Only Tony: Portraits by Gilbert Lewis
In the summer and fall of 2020, PAFA will present an exhibition of approximately 25 paintings by beloved Philadelphia artist Gilbert Lewis (b. 1945). Lewis is a longstanding fixture of the Philadelphia art community—as an art therapist, teacher, and clerk at a local art supply store (many have stories about his useful advice)—yet his work has had little exposure at Philadelphia museums.
PAFA’s exhibition will focus on one model—Tony—whom Lewis painted numerous times in the 1980s. The history of art in Philadelphia—especially PAFA—is essential to the study of figurative art in the United States. Lewis’ work represents an important queer perspective on this tradition that has yet to be fully recognized.
The Woodmere Museum of Art and the William Way LGBT Community Center are planning concurrent exhibitions of Lewis’ work so that Philadelphia can fully celebrate this artist who had such a meaningful impact on his community.
Select Featured Works
Only Tony: Portraits by Gilbert Lewis is generously supported by Grant Greapentrog. Additional support is provided by Linda Seyda and Robert Boris, and Susan and Barton Winokur. Many thanks to the Exhibition Host Committee for their support: Noel Butcher-Hanley, Mike Ippoliti, Kirk Kirkpatrick, Judy Pote, Eric Rymshaw and James Fulton, Gerald F. Stahlecker III, Christopher Taylor, Lisa Wershaw and Steve Engelmyer, and John Wind and Bill Osman.
Special exhibitions are generously supported by Emily and Mike Cavanagh, Ro and Martin King; Robert E. Kohler and Frances Coulborn Kohler, Dorothy and Ken Woodcock; Ralph Citino and Lawrence Taylor, Amy and R. Putnam Coes III, Jules and Connie Kay, the Lau Longsworth Charitable Fund, John and Leigh Middleton, the Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation, Maggie and Brien Murphy, Howard Sacks and Vesna Todorović Sacks, and an anonymous donor. Additional support is provided by the Armand G. Erpf Fund, Jonathan L. Cohen, Betsy and Kevin Donohoe, Anne E. McCollum, and donors to the PAFA Annual Exhibition Fund.