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 William St Thomas Smith  (1862 - 1947)

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Lived/Active: Ontario / Canada      Known for: land-and seascape painting

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Off the Orkneys
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
William St. Thomas Smith (1862-1947)

Regarded as one of the greatest marine painters and water colorists of his time, Smith was born in 1862 in Belfast and immigrated to Beaverton, Ontario, near Lake Simcoe, as a child in 1869.  He graduated from the Ontario School of Art in 1884.  It was there he likely received the nickname of "St. Thomas" to distinguish him from another art student also named William Smith.  He married his first wife, Julia Ann Elizabeth Payne, his former teacher, at Southwold Township in 1886.  They settled at St. Thomas.  A year later, he was part of the art staff at Alma College.  He later traveled in Canada, England, Scotland and the Netherlands.  After Payne's death, he remarried in 1930.

Smith was elected Associate Member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1902.  His work was exhibited throughout Canada and the United States, and hung in all the finest London homes.

St. Thomas Smith received an honorary degree from the University of Western Ontario in 1940.

Despite this success, Smith's contribution to the development of art in southwestern Ontario was largely forgotten after his death in 1947.

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