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 Cecil Alden Smith  (1910 - 1984)

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Lived/Active: Montana      Known for: western genre, landscape, sculptor

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Ad Code: 4
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from Auction House Records.
The Roundup
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Biography from
Experts in the field of Western art have called Cecil Smith "the Dean of Cowboys who are Artists" with good reason. He has ridden more miles on horseback, punched more cows, and worked as range riding cowboy more than any other artist of record.

Smith is the only living artist who has earned his livelihood as a professional buckaroo or cowboy during those years when cowboy life consisted of living in open wilderness where livestock roamed free and unhindered by allotments and range rights.

Fences were few and far between and livestock owners shared the range in common and the grass belonged to every cattleman who owned a cow or horse. Those were the wonderful years when Cecil Smith gained the firsthand experience which qualifies him to paint personal events and those of his cowboy friends-the years of famous Rare Breed cowboys such as Charles M. Russell, Bill Gollings, Will James, Ross Santee, Edward Borein, Joe Martin and Cecil Smith.

Cecil has involved himself in a lifetime of Western art, 69 years of it to date. From the time he was old enough to hold a pencil, he was busy drawing wild range horses and cattle, cowboys and Indians and those especially "Western" subjects he has known since birth.

Cecil's family provided him with the best and most sophisticated art education money could buy. He was personally tutored by three of America's greatest masters - Max Weber, John Carroll and Yasuo Kunlyoshi.

Studying the great expressionist painters, Cecil learned art principles which were trianed by the ancient masters and are prominent in every valuable work of art.

Two important factors contribute to a cowboy artist's greatness: a complete and thorough knowledge of a cowboy's life and application of those hstorical art principles which are the skillful rendering of an object in its exact proportions with color relative to the object's surroundings. This is the accomplishment of Cecil Smith.

During the 1930's, Francis Biddle, under the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, selected several American artists to represent America in the Paris Exposition. Cecil's work was selected to represent the West.

Throughout his long, successful career, Cecil has been featured in many national and international publications. The awards, honors and galleries and museums where his work has been exhibited number in the hundreds.

    Who's Who in Northwest Art, Marion B. Appleton, 1937
    The Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Western American Artists, Doubleday, 1976
    Western Art Today, Watson Guptill, 1975
    Who's Who in American Art, 1978
    Art Structure, McGraw Hill, 1950

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