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Jack Lewis and the CCC topic of Delaware Decades series Nov. 9

Dutch-American Heritage Day Nov. 16
"Mosquito Control," watercolor by Jack Lewis.
November 1, 2013

The Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway in Lewes, will present "Visually Recording a Legacy of Hope From Despair: Jack Lewis and the CCC,” at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 9. This is a lecture on artist Jack Lewis and his paintings of Civilian Conservation Corps workers in Delaware during the Great Depression.

Presented by Ann Baker Horsey, curator of collections for the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the program is the 1930s chapter of Delaware Decades, an eight-part series of lectures exploring successive decades in Delaware’s history from the 1930s to the 2000s. Admission to the event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited due to space restrictions. For more information, call 302-645-1148.

Born in Baltimore in 1912, Jack Lewis graduated from Rutgers University with an art degree in 1935, at a time when the Great Depression was ravaging artists’ careers. In response, he joined the CCC and was stationed in Delaware where he was assigned the job of drawing and painting scenes from the daily activities of three Delaware CCC camps involved in mosquito control in Lewes, Magnolia and Leipsic. From this initial contact, Lewis began a lifelong love affair with Delaware that would lead him to take up permanent residence in the state in the 1950s.

After service in World War II, Lewis earned a master’s degree and taught art in the Kent County public school system, at Delaware Technical and Community College and at the Delaware Correctional Center. He also exhibited and taught at the Rehoboth Art League for many years. In the 1990s, Lewis and his wife moved to Maine where they could be closer to their daughters. He died there Aug. 19, 2012, at the age of 99.

A Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs employee since 1976, Curator of Collections Ann Baker Horsey holds both a bachelor and a master of arts in related arts/interior design from the University of Iowa. With expertise in interiors, textiles, calligraphy and art, Horsey has been involved in interior-design planning for the restoration of some Delaware’s most historic properties including The Old State House, Old Sussex County Court House, John Dickinson Plantation, Woodburn, Hall House and Buena Vista. In addition, she has curated several of the division’s exhibits and serves as manager of the State Portrait Collection. Horsey played a key role in the state’s acquisition of the Jack Lewis art collection and its subsequent conservation.

Dutch-American Heritage Day comes to Lewes Saturday, Nov. 16, with “The Zwaanendael Settlement” presented by Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Charles Fithian on Delaware’s first European settlement established by the Dutch in 1631. The program begins at 2 p.m.; the museum is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.