Frank Vining Smith

Frank Vining Smith – The Chicago Evening Post, May 22, 1928

These sentiments would be echoed in the Post the following year as well:

THE annually recurrent exhibition of paintings of ships and the sea by Frank Vining Smith at the Anderson Galleries always makes an agreeable event about this season. Some thirty of Mr. Smith’s new canvases have just been hung at Anderson’s, and the impression they give is possibly more favorable than it has been in the past.

Even granting the sea’s changeless, ever-changing character and the myriad sorts and conditions of ships that sail it, Mr. Smith’s fertility and inventiveness appear more remarkable than ever in this exhibition. His knowledge of his subject is profound, in the opinion of sailors, who are always harsh critics. His ability to paint workmanlike pictures has long been established. But the ease with which he continues to find variations on a now familiar theme remain surprising.

There are only one or two instances of sameness in the whole exhibition, and these appear to be intentional. It seems that there is only one way to paint a graceful clipper ship, and that is head on, with all sails set.

The impression Frank Smith’s art left with the people of Chicago can not be understated. Sales throughout the 1920s in Chicago were brisk for Smith, and would remain so within the following decades. Thus it is not surprising to discover that one of the most sincere and expressive critiques of Frank Smith’s art ever penned was written in conjunction with a showing of Smith paintings at Chicago’s Anderson Gallery:

The Chicago Evening Post, May 22, 1928

Source: Personal sales records of Frank Vining Smith, collection of Heritage Museums & Gardens

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