Born in Castlemaine, Australia, Martin Lewis studied under the famous painter Julian Ashton at the Art Society's School in Sydney. There he learned the art of printmaking. By 1909, Lewis established himself as an artist in New York City where he would spend most of his life.
His mastery and achievements in printmaking made him one of the most prominent printmakers in the US. It is said that Lewis helped fellow artist and friend Edward Hopper to make his own etchings. During his lifetime, Lewis completed about 148 prints.