New Website Coming Soon!

Great news all, a new website is under construction for the life and works of Stanley & Min. It is being created by Matt Hughes of ‘Tin Shed Experience‘ a quirky museum and arts venue in Laugharne. A town that was once home to the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and indeed to Stanley & Min

The aim is to provide regular updates as well as an extensive history of these two prolific Welsh creatives. An online store will also be integrated for you to buy a selection of their wonderful work!

In the meantime, for those of you on Facebook, take a look and please join our new page ‘The Creative World of Stanley C. Lewis & Min Lewis.’ Regular quick and easy to access content will be posted on here, if you own any of the works already we would love to hear from you.

As Stanley used to say “Forward forward forward and up!”

STAY TUNED

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The Orchard House Years

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In 2007 Stanley decided that it would be a ‘brilliant’ idea to contact the Art Department at Oldham College and discuss with the relevant lecturers an Animated Film for one of Min’s animal stories. His daughter Jennifer met a team of lecturers and it was agreed. Dylan Thomas’ daughter agreed to do the Voice Over for the animated film. Sadly, the project never materialised. However, when Oldham College heard Stanley had died in 2009, they rang Jennifer and asked if a group of students could visit the house and record Jennifer discussing Min and Stanley at Orchard House in the 1950s. This is the film.

BBC Wales Stanley C Lewis

This is a film recorded by BBC Wales, at the Royal College of Art in 2010. Stanley had died on the 9th September 2009 and sadly did not live long enough to see his first exhibition at The Cecil Higgins Art Gallery and Museum in Bedford in 2010. The Exhibition at The Cecil Higgins in Bedford  was called ‘Stanley Lewis The Unknown Artist.’  Approximately two years before Stanley died, he met Paul Liss.  It is uncanny how Paul Liss and Stanley met…the power of the internet!!!  Stanley had become very involved with the internet and was fascinated and often ‘played’ with his son-in-law’s lap top.    One day, his young friend Joanne Skinner, who visited him often with her children,  told him that a water colour of Stanley’s was for sale on Ebay.  ‘Put a bid on for £10’, said Stanley to Jo, which she did immediately.  He and Joanne monitored the auction on ebay all week and unfortunately Stanley was out bidden.  He pestered Joanne to find out the name who had bought the painting and she discovered it was Paul Liss.  Paul received an email from Stanley and he was dumbfounded, believing Stanley had died years ago. He immediately made arrangements to visit Stanley and the meeting was a huge success.  Paul recognised immediately that many of Stanley’s beautiful oil paintings needed to be rescued and restored.  He discussed a major restoration of the important works, and the possibility of a major exhibition. Works were taken to London for restoring and photographing.  Stanley worked closely with Paul and recorded the history of each of the works. Unfortunately, Stanley died in 2009 and the exhibition was held in 2010.  Jeffery Archer visited the Exhibition, but it was at The Royal College of Art a year later that BBC Wales filmed him and Peyton Skipwith, the art historian talking about Stanley and his work. and on the BBC film they can be seen talking about Stanley and his works.

The Home Front 2nd World War

In 1996 Roger Cucksey who was Curator of Newport Art Gallery in South Wales, saw a man and a woman wandering around the gallery searching for a painting called The ‘Mole Catcher’ by Stanley Lewis. Stanley had exhibited this painting at The Royal Academy Summer Show in 1937 and  it was voted by the public  the most popular painting in the exhibition.  The two people who were wandering around Newport Art Gallery  were Stanley’s son Christopher and his wife Mary, and Roger was astonished to hear that Stanley was alive and well and living happily with Min at their home in Kington in Herefordshire. Mary said to Roger, ‘Why don’t you visit Stanley and his wife Min, they will be very pleased to see you.’

Roger soon telephoned Stanley and was invited to their house in Kington and had a very warm reception from Min and Stanley. Roger was shown into a damp and unheated barn outside the house and was amazed to see several large mural paintings in oil, hanging on the walls and in a sad state of deterioration.The mural painting that set his heart beating fast was ‘The Home Front’.    He recognised  immediately that they all needed urgent treatment  to restore them, but it was the historic  ‘The Home Front’ mural painting hanging forlornly on the barn wall which sent his blood racing, and the sadness that such an important Welsh painting depicting Newport in the second World war was hidden away and deteriorating in a Herefordshire barn.   Previously, Stanley’s daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Beverley,had seen several of the  rolled up and discarded  murals lying on the floor  in a damp corner  of the barn, and to save them from the weather and  being walked and trampled on,  Beverley had nailed them onto the tall walls to preserve them.

Roger realised immediately the importance of preserving and restoring the mural paintings, especially the unfinished painting of The Home Front, as it had been commissioned by Newport Council during the 2nd World War. Stanley could not believe Roger’s excitement at the discovery of ‘The Home Front’, and went rooting around for related Home Front drawings and sketches. Roger said that he would move heaven and earth to restore them and exhibit them in Newport Art Gallery,  and a great deal of discussion took place which resulted in Stanley and Min    giving them to Newport Art Gallery to preserve them for posterity. They were given into Roger’s care who then  collected the painting and the related drawings and took them safely back to Newport Art Gallery and set about convincing the authorities to restore the works.

Laugharne and Dylan Thomas

In January 31st 2003, Min Lewis died at the age of 83. Stanley was utterly grief stricken to be left on his own and decided to live with his daughter at Little Oak in Saddleworth, Lancashire and so, on St Davids Day, March 1st 2003, he travelled to Saddleworth and settled down to a new life in Lancashire. ‘I might be 97 years old but I don’t need a nursemaid’, he said to his daughter one morning, ‘ but I do need a secretary and you and I will work together until the day I die, however long that is!’. Consequently, Stanley’s first project at his new home,  Little Oak,  was to reissue the first edition of Min’s ‘Laugharne and Dylan Thomas’, (the original book had been launched at The Browns Hotel in Laugharne in 1967). The second edition of ‘Laugharne and Dylan Thomas’ was to be a memorial edition dedicated to his late wife Min, so consequently Stanley worked night and day and added 80 more drawings and newspaper cuttings.
As the project developed, the paste up of the book was sent to a local printer, Taylor and Clifton in Uppermill,  Saddleworth, Near Oldham,  for the  printing and binding of the book.  Stanley, in the meantime, contacted  many people including Jeff Towns in Swansea and Jeff was very supportive and  suggested that the book ‘must’ be launched in Laugharne at the Browns Hotel. He also suggested that Dylan Thomas’ daughter should  be informed about the re-issue of this book. Over the years Stanley and Min had lost contact with Aeronwy, and Stanley  was excited at the prospect of meeting her again.  The book was now more or less finished at Taylor and Clifton, but  Aeronwy  insisted to be part of it and wrote a Foreword, but alas, it was too late as the book was now being finalised at Taylor and Clifton and Dr Patrick Oates had already submitted a foreword. However, Aeronwy’s foreword was ‘slipped’ into the book, and it added authenticity to Min and Stanley’s book and their earlier  friendship with Dylan and Caitlin Thomas.
In 2004 Stanley contacted Neil Morrisey, the actor,   who owned the Brown’s Hotel, and a date was arranged for the launching of the second edition. It was agreed that the book could be launched there and Stanley’s illustrations would be exhibited in one of the rooms. Beautiful prints were made of Stanley’s drawings and framed so that they could be exhibited at The Browns Hotel.  Sadly, the publicity was a disaster and Stanley’s exhibition never materialised, as there were no facilities for displaying the work,  and  what is more, nobody realised that the book was being launched at ‘The Browns Hotel’.  Although posters had been sent to various people in Laugharne, they were conspicuous by their absence. A hundred invitations had been sent out, but few people responded and did not attend the launching so therefore it was a quiet launching,  but it did not matter as Aeronwy Thomas, Dylan’s daughter  attended, as well as Roger Cucksey the Curator of Newport Art Gallery, and Julian and Gill Brown. Julian had lectured at Carmarthen School of Art with Stanley and is a prolific artist.  Stanley’s daughter Jennifer,  presented  Aeronwy  with an original drawing from ‘Laugharne and Dylan Thomas’. On realising that there was no media coverage, she immediately   rang the local newspaper, and asked them to quickly send a reporter to record the launching and eventually a reporter turned up with a camera. Many months previously Stanley was well aware that he could not attend the launching so commissioned a film to be made.The video called ‘Laugharne and Dylan Thomas’ shows Stanley in his studio at Little Oak. He can be heard and seen talking about the  2nd edition book and his illustrations, and this was played at The Browns Hotel on the day of the launching of the second edition of “Laugharne and Dylan Thomas’. Everyone said that watching the video was uncanny, as it was as if Stanley was actually at the launching.

Stanley MBE

This video was filmed on the day when Stanley was awarded his MBE. He was a 100 years old when it was announced in the newspapers that he had been awarded an MBE for services to Art and Design. The MBE presentation was held at Stanley’s home, Little Oak, in Saddleworth. Unfortunately, he could not go to Buckingham Palace as his health was not too good. However, the Lord Lieutenant of Manchester arrived at Little Oak to meet Stanley and present him with his MBE. Dylan Thomas’s daughter Aeronwy was staying at Little Oak and watched the presentation. Although Stanley had a cold, he stood up and made a speech.

 

Stanley C Lewis – receives MBE

Hello and welcome to Stanley C Lewis’s website over the next few weeks we intend to show case  Stanley’s paintings, sketchbooks, illustrations and many video films of Stanley talking about his life’s work. Stanley was a Welsh artist and was born in 1905 in Cardiff, South Wales.  He died in 2009 when he was 103 years old.  He was married to Min Lewis the Welsh Author.  He was a prolific artist, and right up to the week of his death he was working on his many projects, the main one was his first and only major exhibition of his life’s work.  He worked closely with his agent Paul Liss and his daughter Jennifer Heywood.  Drawings and paintings that had been stored for decades in damp rooms, were professionally restored.  Stanley’s incredible memory helped to record the history of each painting and drawing, and these were recorded in a beautiful catalogue called  ‘Stanley Lewis’. Sadly Stanley died at 9pm on the 9th day of September 2009, so he never attended his first every exhibition which was held at The Cecil Higgins Museum in Bedforshire in 2010.  It was an enormous success.   Stanley lived at Little Oak in Saddleworth from 2003 to 2009.  During this time he self published the 2nd Edition of his late wife’s book ‘Laugharne and Dylan Thomas’ and he added 80 extra drawings and a dedication to Min.  This book Stanley was launched at The Brown’s Hotel in Laugharne in 2004. The following year he self published another book called ‘Adventures in Animal Town’. This book consisted of 26 children’s stories which appeared in The South Wales Evening Post in the late 1940s and 1950s. Min wrote the stories and Stanley illustrated them and they appeared regularly in the newspaper, and were highly regarded.  In 2008 Stanley began writing about his life in the Army during the 2nd World War.  He fished out his numerous sketchbooks which consisted on drawings from his time in an Army Camp.  He wrote about each of the drawings.