Frank Vining Smith


Frank Vining Smith, (1879-1967)

Frank Vining Smith combined his love of the sea with his skills as a magazine and newspaper illustrator to produce compelling maritime oils and watercolors.

Born in Massachusetts in 1879, Smith studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School with Frank Benson and Edmund Tarbell. He began his career as an illustrator with the Boston Globe newspaper, and he contributed to leading leisure magazines, including Yachting, Field and Stream and Outdoors.

Smith held his first one man exhibition in 1922, and was subsequently exhibited regularly in New England and in New York City galleries.

He was a consummate sportsman, enjoying hunting, fishing and sailing. A member of the Blue Water Cruising Club, Smith gained his maritime experiences first hand—taking to the sea for pleasure and for study.

Though he painted schooners, clipper ships and whalers, the clipper ships held the most appeal for him. The artist painted the ships in oceanic calm as well as the turbulence of stormy seas.

Perceptually authentic, Smith’s paintings are largely representational, and yet each is infused with the artist’s own experience and imagination. Drawing on the differences of the ships and the varying moods of the sea, each of Smith’s paintings is distinctly individualistic.

Smith died in 1967.

Mariners Museum, Newport News, Virginia


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