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 Florence Smith  (1909 - 2005)

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Lived/Active: Massachusetts      Known for: portraits, seascapes, collage, ceramics, art education

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
Young Girl, c. 1978, acrylic on canvas, 24 x 40
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following information was submitted by the artist's niece, Joanne Deitch:

A prolific painter in a variety of media and styles, her most productive period spans from the 1940s to 1980s.  She signed her paintings F. Smith.

She was born in East Boston, Massachusetts on November 7, 1909 as the oldest of 5 children.
Florence Smith was a graduate of East Boston High School and a 1938 Honors graduate of Massachusetts College of Art, Boston.  Born with a cleft palate and a victim of Scarlet Fever, she spent much time in Boston area hospitals during her youth.  Her favorite pasttime was visiting the many art museums in Boston with her mother.

She lived in East Boston until married to Philip Silverman in October of 1951 (they never had children).  She then lived and taught art in Winthrop, Massachusetts from 1951 to 1996, when she moved to Chelsea for assisted living and long-term care.

Florence was a member of many local and regional art associations and exhibited throughout the U.S. in private galleries, in group and one-woman shows.  Her works were also shown at the National Academy of Design in New York, the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the Arts and Science Center in New Hampshire, to name a few.  She and her husband Phil traveled throughout Europe, Israel, Canada and the U.S., where many of her paintings are in private collections.

During World War II she created over 700 charcoal, pastel and watercolor portraits of wounded U.S. soldiers as they recovered in Boston area hospitals (or not) from the battlefields in Europe and the Pacific.  These studies were sent by the U.S.O. to the families of the subjects. 

She was the recipient of over 70 awards throughout her 55-year career. Some are listed below:
Carl E. Matson Memorial Prize - Rockport Art Assoc.
Harold Rotenberg Award for "the most provacative, imaginative and experimental work by any member." - Rockport Art Assoc. (1965 and 1966)
Portrait Award - Jordan Marsh, Boston
Jury Award Best of Show and "Most Outstanding Painting" - Marblehead Arts Assoc.1986
Landscape Prize - Malden Art Guild
Minna Pinter Prize - Cambridge Art Assoc.
Watercolor Prize - Los Angeles Art Assoc.
Grumbacher Award - Winthrop,MA Arts Festival 1986
Samuel S. Kadiff Memorial Award - 1988
and 62 more.

Florence Smith is known for her broad versatility and range of styles. She was perhaps best known for her portrait studies of people, including many rabbis, children and women,  and her many seascapes from Lynn, Rockport, Marblehead and Winthrop, Massachusetts.

She received recognition in mixed media pieces, collage, watercolor, acryllic paintings and ceramic art.  She also worked in oils, pastel, and scratch-board. She and her husband Philip together created several large mosaic pieces, as well.

In Massachusetts, she was a member (and President) of the Winthrop Art Association, The Cambridge Art Association, The Marblehead Art Association, The Copley Society, and many more, and was elected in the 1960s to the New England Artists, a group of 50 top artists exhibiting in museums and galleries throughout New England.

Florence Smith died in Chelsea, Massachusetts on January 14, 2005

information comes from her extensive (50 year) scrap book of reviews, news articles, and photos of her artwork.

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