American (born in Australia), 1881–1962
Aquatint and drypoint
9 15/16 x 7 15/16 inches
Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, Director's Discretionary Fund
Not Currently on Display
About the Artwork
In White Monday, Martin Lewis depicts a woman venturing out into the snow to hang her laundry to dry on the line. In an era before the automatic washing machine when all linens had to be washed by hand, washing and drying laundry was a physically grueling and time-consuming household task, almost always performed by women. The print’s title references both the wintry landscape and the common practice of doing the wash on Monday, a routine popularized by everything from advice columns to church sermons to Mother Goose nursery rhymes. Popular culture held that the good housewife or daughter did laundry on Mondays, so that linens had all week to dry before Sunday—the day for clean clothes, church, and rest. Lewis’s print beautifully juxtaposes the expanses of white sheets and white snow.