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William Arthur Smith Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Smith, William Arthur, 1918-
Title: William Arthur Smith Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1950-1966
Quantity: 1 linear feet
Abstract: Papers of the American painter and print-maker. Collection includes gallery and exhibition material, photographs, and published material about Smith and other artists.
Language: Majority in English, a few items in Japanese, Greek, Italian, and Turkish.
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

William Arthur Smith (1918-1989) was an American painter, illustrator and print-maker, particularly known for his landscapes and graphics.

Born in Toledo, Ohio on April 19, 1918, Smith studied art at the University of Toledo with Theodore J. Keane and later at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and L'Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. Smith was an Academician of the National Academy of Design, a member of the West Coast Watercolor Society, and a past president of the American Watercolor Society. He also belongs to the Audubon Association.

Smith won numerous awards, among them the National Academy of Design's coveted medal (twice), a grand prize and a gold medal from the society that awards the "Watercolor of the Year" (1957, 1965), and an honorary degree from the University of Toledo.

Smith's work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Chrysler Corporation, Florida Southern College, the Library of Congress, and the Los Angeles Museum of Art, and he had exhibits at major museums in countries around the world, including India, Greece, Italy, Turkey and Japan. In the United States Smith's work was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the City Art Museum of St. Louis.

The United States sent Smith as a delegate to the International Conference on Plastic Arts in Venice in 1954, and he lectured extensively in the Philippines as well as in Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Nepal and Turkey.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The William Arthur Smith Collection consists of articles and biographical sketches about Smith (including two that fold out to large poster-size and feature reproductions of his work); exhibit catalogs, several in foreign languages; photographs of Smith at work in his studio; and a reproduction of a painting (not by Smith) from the National Gallery in Washington, DC, printed with "Seasons Greetings Ferol and William Smith."

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Smith, William Arthur, 1918-


Illustrators -- United States.
Painters -- United States -- 20th century.
Printmakers -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Exhibition catalogs.



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

William Arthur Smith Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: Aug 1967
Revision history: 18 Nov 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC); 4 Aug 2010 - adds, updates (MRC)

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Subject files
Oversize 1 Articles about 1959, 1966, undated
Oversize 1 Exhibition catalogs 1952, 1954, 1955, undated - includes items in English, Italian, Japanese, Greek and Turkish
Oversize 1 Photographs 1950, 1951, 1958 - of Smith in his studios
Oversize 1 Reproduction of a painting (not by Smith) undated

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