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Henry Pember Smith   Click Images to Enlarge

Henry Pember Smith
Calm Summer Day
Oil on canvas
14 x 20 inches

Henry Pember Smtih

(American, 1854-1907)

Henry Pember Smith was born in Asbury, New Jersey in 1854 (Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers states he was born in Waterford, Connecticut, p. 338) and was basically self-taught. During the 1880s, Smith was highly inspired by European realists and Trompe L'oeil painters and traveled throughout Europe studying the Old Masters in Paris, Brittany, Normandy, Venice and along the English Cornish coast.

He was a member of the Artists Fund Society, New York City and the American Water Color Society, but did not like to join clubs or groups. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design (NYC) from 1877-1896, 1899, 1901, 1906; the Brooklyn Art Club (1878-1885, 1892); Boston Art Club (1880-1890) and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia (1881, 1888); and the Art Institute, Chicago.

Smith is best known for his country cottages or scenes along rivers near or around Lyme and East Lyme, Connecticut where he had a studio in the late 1800s. One of his student-devotees was George Drew, who copied his style and photographic "look" in similar scenes. He also painted the sea and shore from New Jersey, Newport (RI) and along Cape Ann to Maine.

He maintained studios in Manhattan at 11th, 17th and West 14th Street and was actively exhibiting as early as 1877.


References: Who's Who in American Art (1906); Who Was Who in American Art, vol. 3, page 3080; Falk, PAFA Annual Exhibition Records and Annual Exhibition Records of the National Academy of Design; Mantle Fielding, Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, 1965, p. 338.