Frank Vining Smith
“Uncharted Seas” and Other Interesting Marine Pieces by Boston Painter at Doll & Richards’s Gallery
Mr. Frank Vining Smith is holding his first Boston exhibition of paintings at the Doll & Richards Gallery, 71 Newbury street, [sic] until November 18. He is a marine painter of distinct merit, who has had an excellent training in his art, and has specialized mainly in illustration.i
With this blunt, simple statement serving as a herald’s trumpet, so was Frank Vining Smith’s grand entrance into the world of fine art first announced. It was in the early winter of 1921 that Smith experienced the excitement and anxiety of his first one-man show, an event that did not fail to draw notice from the Boston papers despite its having only a brief run lasting from November 8thth to the nineteenth of that year.ii Declarations that his work was “distinctly decorative, not to say splendid”iii and “rendered with verisimilitude and dramatic effect”iv readily spilled from the lips of reviewers, while the “warm sunlight”v and “really beautiful and airy sky”vi found within his pieces were particularly commended. Exhibiting an array of varying nautical themes with which to demonstrate his skills and entice interested buyers we find that historical compositions depicting various sail craft through the centuries were present in number, as were a host of lonely seascapes and wooded island landscapes, (the overwhelming majority of which received favorable and enthusiastic criticism). Yet it was his visions of empty coastline that captivated those who viewed the show the most, compelling one reviewer to comment, “There is something doing in the way of surf in all of these canvases, and they are made with a great deal of strong first-hand observation and naturalism.