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 Anita Miller Smith  (1893 - 1968)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: landscape, architecture, history

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Ad Code: 4
Anita Miller Smith
from Auction House Records.
Harbor Scene
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery:
Born into a prominent Philadelphia family, Anita Smith began her art training in 1909 with Benedict Osnis in Philadelphia, and continued her education at the Academie Julian in Paris, and at studios in Venice, Cairo and Rome.

In 1912 she worked briefly with William Merritt Chase and with John Carlson at the Art Students League in New York. In 1913 she enrolled in Carlson's summer class at Woodstock, New York, and became a part time resident. There, working in an impressionist style, Smith quickly emerged as one of the community's talented young painters, and later developed parallel careers as an herbalist and writer.

In addition to "Woodstock History and Hearsay" (1959), she authored "The Landscape of History, and The Quakers and Shakers: The Quest of Abel Knight".

A landscape artist, with an interest in buildings and history, Smith painted in such diverse locales as New Hope, Pennsylvania; Provincetown, Massachusetts; Woodstock, New York; Charleston, South Carolina; Europe; and even Mexico.

In 1919 her "Houses in the Dunes" won a Lambert Purchase Prize at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Smith's work was also exhibited at the National Academy of Design, the Carnegie Institute, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the J. B. Speed Museum.

Smith's visit to Charleston may have been prompted by her friendship with Alfred Hutty, who alternated residences between Charleston and Woodstock, and often recommended the city to others. Though nothing is known of her stay, her visit is recorded in paintings of two of its historic buildings. Widely admired for its architectural distinction, St. Michael's was a frequent choice for artists. The alley behind the house at 91 East Bay was less accessible, suggesting that Smith was escorted there, probably by Hutty, who painted the house from a similar view, possibly during Smith's visit.

Written by NRS Nancy Rivard Shaw 2003© Robert M. Hicklin Jr., Inc.

Biography from Ivyhill Gallery:
"She believed it necessary to dig into the history of the countryside before painting, that she didn't see how one could paint the Catskills without knowing something of the people who lived among them."*

Miss Smith worked in oil, watercolor and graphic media, with her best work classified as impressionist and post-impressionist. Primarily a landscape artist, she painted in such diverse locales as New Hope, PA; Mexico; Provincetown, MA; New York City; Charleston, SC; Europe and Woodstock, NY. Considered an artist-equal in the Woodstock community, her contemporaries included John F. Carlson, Marion Bullard, Frank Chase and Eugene Speicher.

In 1919 her "Houses in the Dunes" won a Lambert Purchase Prize at the Pennsylvania Academy along with such other women painters as Paulette Van Roekens and Lilian Westcott Hale. Smith's work was also exhibited at the National Academy of Design, the Carnegie Institute, the Art Institute of Chicago and the J.B. Speed Museum.

Born into a socially prominent Philadelphia family, Smith traveled extensively in Europe as a young girl. She began her art training with Benedict Osnis in Philadelphia in 1909 and in 1910, on a study-journey, trained at the Académie Julian in Paris and other ateliers in Venice, Cairo and Rome. In 1912 she studied with William Merritt Chase and in 1913 took instruction from John Carlson and Frank DuMond at the Art Students League in New York.

She was a member of the Woodstock Artists Association and the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. A true Renaissance woman, she was a painter, a world traveler, an author of books?including "Woodstock: History and Hearsay"?and a renowned herbalist.

*Jonas, Louise, "Debutante, Anita Smith Chose to become Ulster Herbalist," Poughkeepsie Sunday New Yorker, Nov. 22, 1942.


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