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 Jack Wilkinson Smith  (1873 - 1949)

About: Jack Wilkinson Smith
 

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Lived/Active: California/New Jersey      Known for: landscape, seascape and mountain painting

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Jack Wilkinson Smith
from Auction House Records.
In the Canyon
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Clyde Porter, who credits a booklet titled Artistic Ramblings -Then and Now by Eve Madigan.

Artists who worked with Jack Wilkinson Smith in San Gabriel or Alhambra, CA on Champion Place were Victor Forsythe, Frank Tenney Johnson, Eli Harvey, Sam Hyde Harris, Virginia McElroy, Hughlette Wheeler (Tex) and Clyde Champion.

Smith was born in Patterson, New Jersey in 1873. His grandfather owned an 80 acre farm, including what is now Madison Square Garden. His father painted some of the decorations in the New York State Capital Building in Albany.

He studied at the Chicago Art Institute and under Frank Duveneck in Cincinnati and became a newspaper artist on the Cincinnati Enquirer.

He gained national attention with his sketches of the Spanish American War.  He went to Lexington, Kentucky, where he had his first "one man show", and met and married Emma Troop.  They came to Los Angeles in 1908, where he taught in city schools.

Frank Tenney Johnson suggested that Smith look on Champion Place for a location for his studio, and he introduced him to Clyde Champion. Jack Wilkinson Smith promptly bought the house and property at 16 Champion Place, and Bernice and Clyde Champion built across the street.  They were fast friends for twenty-two years, until Smith's death in New York in 1948 from a heart attack.

Smith painted from Kansas plains to the Oregon Coast.

His friends in Art of Los Angeles were Hanson Puthuff, F. Tenney Johnson, William Wendt, Charles Austin, Clyde Forsythe. Marjorie Reed contributed her success to Jack Wilkinson Smith, who was her instructor for years.  He was the original founder of the Biltmore Salon, which later was operated on a cooperative basis with sixteen other artists. It was because of his dedication to the founding of this gallery and his membership on the board of the California Art Club, serving in the capacity as president, that he became the only artist in the exclusive "Murder Club" which discussed all sorts of recondite subjects.

His painting of Lingering Snow is in Gardena High School.  Gathering Storm is one of the finest of his marine paintings.  Of all the artists who painted in Alhambra in the 30's, Jack Wilkinson Smith was the most colorful in that he had a flair for entertaining and was very popular as a civic leader.  He was very handsome and articulate.


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Paterson, New Jersey on Feb. 7, 1873, Jack Wilkinson Smith inherited his interest in art from his father who painted some of the decorations in the Capitol Building in Albany, NY.  While in his teens, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and was apprenticed to artist Gardner Symons in Chicago.  He later worked as a commercial artist in Lexington, KY and went on to become a sketch artist with the Cincinnati Enquirer.

While in Cincinnati, he studied at the Art Academy under Frank Duveneck.  During the Spanish-American War, his front-line sketches brought him national renown.  In 1906 he settled in Alhambra, CA and established a studio-home in the eucalyptus grove called "Artists Alley" where his neighbors included Eli Harvey, Frank Tenney Johnson, and summer-resident Norman Rockwell.

Smith was largely responsible for establishing the Biltmore Salon, which exhibited and sold works by local artists during the early part of this century. In the Midwest he had worked in watercolor; however, upon moving to Los Angeles, he switched to oil.

During the Depression he worked for Pacific Outdoor Advertising.  An Impressionist, he traveled the state from one end to the other in search of subject matter.  His Sierra landscapes, missions, and seascapes have made him one of California's most important painters.

Smith died in Monterey Park, CA on Jan. 8, 1949.

Member: Laguna Beach AA; Academy of Western Painters; Allied AA; Salmagundi Club; Calif. WC Society. Exh: Calif. Art Club, 1913-19; Sketch Club (LA), 1914; Panama-Calif. Expo (San Diego), 1915 (bronze and silver medals); Friday Morning Club (LA), 1915; Calif. State Fair, 1917-19 (medals); Liberty Fair, 1918 (prize); LACMA, 1918 (solo); Phoenix Expo, 1920 (2nd prize), 1922 (1st prize); Stendahl Gallery (LA), 1922; Women’s Club (Hollywoood), 1922; Painters of the West, 1924-29 (gold medals); Ebell Club (LA), 1925; Biltmore Salon (LA), 1932-41; GGIE, 1939.

Collection: Irvine (CA) Museum; Phoenix Municipal Collection; Orange County (CA) Museum; Athletic Club (LA); Gardena High School.
Source:
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
American Art Annual 1917-33; International Studio magazine, Dec. 1919; Who's Who in American Art 1936-41; California Impressionism (Wm. Gerdts & Will South); Overland Monthly, Oct. 1932; So. Calif. Artists 1890-1940; Southern California Artists (Nancy Moure); Plein Air Painters (Ruth Westphal); Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers (Fielding, Mantle); Calif. Design, 1910; NY Times, 1-9-1949 (obituary); Los Angeles Times, 10-5-1930 & 1-23-1949 (obituary).
Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
An impressionist painter of western landscapes, Jack Wilkinson Smith was born in Paterson, New Jersey. He had early exposure to artistic expression because his father was an artist who did decorative work on the Capitol Building in Albany, New York.

He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and apprenticed to George Gardner Symons, who later became a well-known landscape painter in California. He worked for a period in Lexington, Kentucky as a commercial artist and then became a staff artist for the "Cincinnati Enquirer." In Cincinnati, he studied at the Art Academy under Frank Duveneck. During the Spanish American War, 1898, he did front line sketches that brought him national attention.

In 1906, he settled in Alhambra, California, and his studio home was in the area called "Artists Alley," where his neighbors included artists Frank Tenney Johnson, Eli Harvey, and in the summers, Norman Rockwell. Smith was a primary organizer of the Biltmore Salon, where works by local artists were exhibited and sold.

For his work, he switched from watercolor to oil painting and traveled the state doing impressionist landscapes. He is renowned for his colorful High Sierra mountain views, missions, and marine paintings, and is considered one of California's most important painters. He also painted and exhibited in Arizona, winning second prize at the Phoenix Expo in 1920 and first prize in 1922. His work is in the Phoenix Municipal Collection.

He had many prestigious affiliations including the Salmagundi Club of New York, Academy of Western Painters, and the California Art Club.


Biography from DeRu's Fine Arts:
Jack Wilkinson Smith was born in Patterson, New Jersey on February 7, 1873. Smith inherited his interest in art from his father who painted some of the decorations in the Capitol Building in Albany, New York. While in his teens, he studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and was apprenticed to George Gardner Symons in Chicago. He later worked as a commercial artist in Lexington, Kentucky and went on to become a staff artist with the Cincinnati Enquirer.

While in Cincinnati, he studied under Frank Duveneck at the Art Academy. During the Spanish-American War (1898), his front line sketches brought him national renown. In 1906 he settled in Alhambra, California and established a studio-home in the eucalyptus grove called "Artists Alley" where his neighbors included Eli Harvey, Frank Tenney Johnson and, summer resident, Norman Rockwell. Smith was largely responsible for establishing the Biltmore Salon, which exhibited and sold works by local artists during the early part of this century.

In the Midwest, he had worked in watercolor but upon moving to Los Angeles, he switched to oil. An Impressionist painter, he traveled from one end of the state to the other in search of subject matter. His Sierra landscapes, seascapes and missions have made him one of California's most important painters. Smith died in Monterey Park on January 18, 1949.

Biography from William A. Karges Fine Art - Carmel:
Jack Wilkinson Smith was born in Patterson, New Jersey, in 1873.   His art studies were with George Gardner Symons at the Art Institute of Chicago, and with Frank Duveneck at the Cincinnati Art Academy.  

In 1906 he settled in Monrovia, California, where his artist neighbors included Frank Tenney Johnson and Norman Rockwell.  In southern California Smith helped found a major venue for local artists, the Biltmore Salon. 

He is best known today for his powerful coastal scenes and dramatic Sierra Mountain paintings.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


Jack Smith is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
The California Art Club
Impressionists Pre 1940
California Painters



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