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Emmet Owen Smith

 (born 1886)
Emmet Owen Smith was active/lived in New York, Vermont / France.  Emmet Smith is known for impressionist landscape and portrait painting, magazine, poster illustration.

Emmet Owen Smith

Biography from Lahaska Fine Art Gallery

An American impressionist painter, he specialized in landscapes and portraits with  particular concentration on New York subject matter.
Born in Smyrna, Tenessee in 1886 to William James Buchanan Smith ( a first cousin of James Buchanan) and Laura Gregory Smith, he attended high school in Nashville, Tennessee and studied standard art courses. After high school he studied for several years at the studio of the artist Gilbert Gaul, then a teacher at Vanderbilt College. Gaul is well known as an illustrator for Harpers Magazine and other magazines of the time and also a well-known Civil War painter.
Smith's father never wanted his son to be a painter because he felt that he would not be able to make a living.  He preferred that he become a farmer and run the family plantation. But Emmet followed his heart and instead took a position with a lithograph company in Nashville, Tennessee, where he worked creating illustrations for the publications of a Methodist publishing house.
While in Nashville, Smith met the Rochester, NY artist Carl M. Rasschen who worked at the time for Brandon Litho and Printing Co.
When he was about twenty, he moved to Denver, Colorado for health reasons. It was thought that the altitude would be beneficial to his health, and he worked creating posters for 7 or months.
He returned to Nashville in 1906, then on to Indianapolis, Cincinatti, and finally to New York City, where he rented a studio and worked for Pathe News for the next twelve years, making posters for celebrities such as Pearl White, Ruth Roland, Harold Lloyd, the Our Gang comedies, and other movies.
In the fall of 1928, Smith left Pathe and the next spring moved to France with savings of $12,000. He was a successful commercial artist, and his dream was to semi-retire in France. Though he stayed until 1936, the stock market crash of 1929 hurt him financially, and he returned to New York City, opening a studio in the Lincoln Arcade building at the corner of Broadway and 65th Street.

He spent his years in New York painting and restoring art for churches as well as the Seamans Bank, which houses the finest collection of marine pictures in New York City.  He spent two years on a painting of the 4 Stations of the Cross for the Lutheran Church on 24th Street. He also painted many portraits. He remained in New York until about 1961 when he moved to the relative solitude of Vermont. Seamans Bank continued to work with him and sent special work to him in Vermont.

He painted well into his 80's, sharing his life with his wife Olive and their dog Rex.

Written and submitted by Christopher Willett of Lahaska Fine Art Gallery. He wrote: "Enclosed is the bio of a artist who has passed away many years ago and painted with some very well known painters; in fact we have an old silent film with him, Emil Gruppe, Edward Redfield, Carl Raschen,Thomas Mitchell."

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About  Emmet Owen Smith

Born:  1886 - Smyrna, Tennessee
Known for:  impressionist landscape and portrait painting, magazine, poster illustration