William Thomas Smedley – American Artist, 1858 to 1920

A mixed media painting of people admiring paintings by William Thomas Smedley

p4A ItemID C218328
A watercolor painting of a man on a road by William Thomas Smedley

p4A ItemID D9954092
William Thomas Smedley watercolor painting, The Auction

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William Thomas Smedley pen and ink drawing, "Roustabouts Unloading a Mississippi Boat", 1892

p4A ItemID E8892959

William Thomas Smedley (American, 1858 to 1920)

William Thomas Smedley was a freelance artist who provided illustrations for many books and major magazines such as Scribner’s, Harper’s, and The Ladies Home Journal during the latter half of the 19th century. Smedley, who was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, in 1858, received his formal artistic training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. At the completion of his education there, Smedley moved to New York where he soon found work as a pen and ink artist for Harper and Brothers.
Information courtesy of Neal Auctions, November 2013.

A master of Gilded Age figure painting, Smedley excelled at showcasing the upper class at work and at play. Born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Smedley studied first at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, before sailing for Paris where he worked with Jean Paul Laurens. Smedley submitted work to the famed Universal Exposition in Paris in 1900, and when he returned to the United States, his sensitivity to the human figure, particularly women, earned him many commissions. Smedley eventually moved to Bronxville, an affluent suburb of New York City. He became a leading member of the town’s newly formed art colony and exhibited regularly at the National Academy of Design.
Information courtesy of Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers, October 2010.


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