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Jack Wilkinson Smith Biography

Born in Paterson, NJ, Smith studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and was apprenticed to Gardner Symons.  He later worked as a commercial artist in Lexington, KY and was a staff artist for the Cincinnati Enquirer.  While in Cincinnati he studied at the Art Academy under 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 the century.  He was a co-founder and President of the California Art Club.  An Impressionist, Smith traveled the state from one end to the other in search of subject matter.  His Sierra landscapes, missions and marines have made him one of California’s most important painters.  Smith died in Monterey Park, CA on January 8, 1949.