Frank Vining Smith

Publication of Book – Frank Vining Smith: Maritime Painting in the 20th Century

Frank Vining Smith: Maritime Painting in the 20th Century - HardPress Editions

Frank Vining Smith: Maritime Painting in the 20th Century - HardPress Editions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lenox, MA June 22, 2010 – Hard Press Editions is pleased to announce the publication of Frank Vining Smith: Maritime Painting in the 20th Century, the most comprehensive survey of one of America’s greatest marine artists.  Influenced by the New England shore of his youth, Smith is known for his versatility, color palette and realism—capturing every line of rigging, sail plan and line of a ship’s hull with unerring accuracy that captivated brash sailors and the general public alike.  Perhaps best known for his majestic clipper ships along the New England shore, Smith was a prolific artist and illustrator whose subject matter went beyond his portrayal of the nautical world to include works depicting the great outdoors in a career that spanned both World War I and World War II and beyond.

From clipper ships to schooners to whalers, Hard Press Editions casts the spotlight on Frank Vining Smith (1879-1967), prolific maritime painter of the Golden Age of Sail.

Born in Whitman, Massachusetts in 1879, Frank Vining Smith summered on Cape Cod and made Hingham, Massachusetts his home. Unable to enter the Navy, he focused on painting—combining it with his love of all things nautical. Smith enrolled at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and studied under Frank Benson, Philip L. Hale & Edmund C. Tarbell.  He then studied at the Central Ontario School of Art in Canada and, finally, at the Art Students League in New York City.  Smith began working as an illustrator for the Boston Herald at the age of twenty-three and also executed many illustrations and paintings for the Boston Journal, Outdoors, Field & Stream, and Yachting. His illustrations came to define a generation enjoying the pastime of “leisure and the great outdoors.” Many of Smith’s illustrations are reproduced in this book for the first time.

At the age of 47, Smith was able to paint full-time.  World War II brought a resurgence of patriotism and, for Smith, a broadening list of patrons and commissions. His clients included such captains of industry as Josiah K. Lilly Jr. (of Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals fame), fine art connoisseur and museum founder Julian de Cordova and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Smith’s ability to transform a common scene of antiquity into a vibrant and modern one, garnered him critical and financial success during his lifetime.

The extensive collection of  works in this title is an invitation to rediscover Smith’s admiration for maritime traditions and brilliance as an artist.

A comprehensive exhibition entitled “The Art of Frank Vining Smith” is scheduled to debut at the Heritage Museums & Gardens, June 26 through October 31, 2010.

Author James Craig was the associate curator for collections at the Cape Ann Historical Museum from 2003 to 2007. This is Craig’s third title.  Craig’s Fitz H. Lane: An Artist’s Voyage through Nineteenth Century America (The History Press, 2006) was awarded the Gloucester Historical Commission Preservation Award in 2007. He is an independent consultant to fine art collectors, antique dealers and museums. He resides in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Hard Press Editions, in Lenox, Massachusetts, has published Artist Monographs, Art Criticism, Art Theory, Fine Art Prints, Fiction and Poetry since 1992.

Frank Vining Smith-Maritime Painting in the 20th Century Book – Press Release – Warning PDF!


8 Comments for this entry

  • Bob Falconer

    Greetings. Just discovered your quality website and am pleased to learn more about Mr. Smith and some of his work. We’ve had an original in the family since probably the early 1940’s. Titled “12 Knots Blocked Flat,” it’s a 32″ x 42″ image in the original gilt frame. Oil on canvas, artist’s name on lower right – “Frank Vining Smith.”

    I have a photo and more detailed provenance if it’s of interest to anybody. Happy to share. Not sure how to send the photo to your site. We’re in southeastern Wisconsin, but I’m pretty sure my Grandfather acquired the piece in New England where he had a summer home near Sakonnet Point, RI.

    Bob Falconer
    Richfield, WI

  • Linda Ljubicich

    I have a nautical painting ( or print) of Frank Vining Smith and would like to know if it is an original. If not, did he have his paintings printed this is on a textured board? I would like to know it’s value, can you help?

    Linda Ljubicich

  • admin

    What you have in your possession is an original Frank Vining Smith print. FV Smith pioneered the art of high end prints on a textured surface. These prints were crafted during his lifetime, and he oversaw the process. I cannot give you an accurate value of the piece at this time. I will do some research and get back to you.

  • Gail Sturtevant

    My Grandfather, Donald Dearborn Wyman, was a friend and a sailing buddy of Mr. Smith’s. I have pictures of the two of them together and pictures (slides) that my grandfather took of Smith at his easel by the window of his Hingham home. There are photos taken from the outside as well so that you can see what his home looked like.

    I am fortunate enough to own a painting of Smith’s that my Grandfather and Grandmother owned. It is what I call a Dunescape. I don’t know but could speculate that it was comissioned by or gifted to my Grandfather. An appraiser at Skinner’s Auction House gave it a valuation of about two thousand dollars. I would never sell it but wanted to know for insurance purposes.

    I’ve looked through a number of websites about Smith and have never found this painting. Although it is badly in need of a cleaning his wonderful use of color shows itself magnificently. It is in the usual simple gilt frame.

    Thought you might like to hear about this. If you like, I could send you a photograph of the painting. I need first to purchase a digital camera.

    Gail Sturtevant (nee Wyman)

  • Jon

    I got a hold on one of his paintings for 80 euros. Probably is a fake but how can I be sure. Could send pictures.

  • Tarky7

    Send me an email with pics, might be a print, as Frank Vining Smith was way ahead of the game in terms of making high quality prints on textured paper. If the paining is original, it is worth some serious bread. I am in contact with a trusted art dealer who features Frank Vining Smith as well as top collected Maritime Artists.

  • Lesley

    I have 2 signed paintings by Frank Vining Smith, which were passed down from my father. The first is Sovereign of the Sea and the second is Homeward from Hawaii. They are both in excellent condition. Do you have any information on their value and a recommended method to possibly sell them?

  • kevin

    I acquired a Frank Vining Smith painting sometime ago.
    stored it away and stumbled upon this website which got me thinking about it,,,It is signed on the bottom right and titled sunlit seas,,to me it is in perfect shape ( I am not a expert ) would you have any information on it ?
    Thank you

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