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Wyndham Lewis
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Artist
    (November 18, 1882-March 7, 1957)
    Born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Birth name was Percy Wyndham Lewis
    Artist and author
    Edited the literary magazine 'BLAST' (1914-15)
    Wrote the novel 'Tarr' (1918) and the trilogy 'The Human Age' (1928-55)
    Co-founder of the Vorticist movement in art
    Paintings include 'Workshop' (1915), 'A Battery Shelled' (1919), 'Mr Wyndham Lewis as a Tyro' (1921), 'Surrender of Barcelona' (1937) and portraits of Edith Sitwell (1936), T.S. Eliot (1938) and Ezra Pound (1939)
    He fathered two children out of wedlock with Iris Barry.
    When Barry returned home from the hospital with their newborn daughter, he kept her waiting outside while he finished making love to another woman.
    He was so secretive about his marriage to Gladys Anne 'Froanna' Hoskins that many of his friends never met her.
    His portrait of Edith Sitwell was unfinished, either because she refused to return to his filthy, rodent-infested studio or because she got tired of his making passes at her.
    A group of admirers established a fund to support him with a £16 payment each month. One month when the check was late in arriving, he sent the message, 'Where's the fucking stipend?'
    After a visit to Berlin, he wrote the book 'Hitler' (1931), presenting Adolf Hitler as a 'man of peace' and dismissing reports of Nazi anti-semitism as a 'racial red herring.'
    During World War I, he served at the front as an artillery spotter before being assigned as a war artist.
    Sir Walter Sickert called him 'the greatest portraitist of this or any other time.'
    Following another trip to Berlin (1937), he recognized the reality of the Nazi treatment of Jews and wrote an attack on anti-semitism.
    A pituitary tumor pressing against the optic nerve caused him to gradually lose his vision until he went completely blind in the early 1950s.

Credit: C. Fishel


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