For almost thirty years, Val Lewton was a keen observer of the neighborhood near the National Collection of Fine Arts (later SAAM) where he worked as an exhibit designer. He photographed and painted, effectively documenting a city’s change. Familiar street scenes were disappearing. Sites such as the synagogue dome seen from his office window, the architecturally intriguing urban gas stations just blocks away, the cars and delivery trucks, the demolition equipment at rest… they all formed parts of his painting compositions. These were stories centered on a point in time. Lewton also paid homage to other neighborhoods. He painted Bungalows and Victorians, and rooftops and front porches, focusing on the beauty that a light shaft, or color, might reveal, no matter the ordinariness of the building, and reminding us of homes we might have lived in.

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