A specialist in marine and landscape views, Henry Pember Smith was born in Waterford, Connecticut in 1854. Little is known about his early training or his career before 1877, when he set up a studio in New York City. It is generally assumed that he was self- taught. From 1877 on, Smith exhibited regularly at the National Academy of Design, although he never became a member. Smith also exhibited at the American Watercolor Society and the Artists' Fund.
His landscapes are his best known works, particularly those of New England, Spain, Italy, England, New York State, and France. These also indicate his love of travel and some of his best known works are Venetian scenes. Working primarily in oils and watercolors, and using a tighter technique than the emerging impressionists of his time, Smith was a true realist.
Around 1901, Smith moved to Asbury Park, New Jersey to seek relief from ill health and rheumatism. He died there in October, 1907.
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA
George Walter Vincent Smith Museum, Springfield, MA
Museum of Art at Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Museum of Fine Arts-Springfield, Springfield, MA
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
Robert Hull Fleming Museum University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY
The Mattatuck Museum of the Mattatuck Historical Society, Waterbury, CT
The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
Wadsworth Athenaeum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Who Was Who in American Art, Falk
American Paintings before 1945 in the Wadsworth Athenaeum (2 Vols.), Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser
Connecticut Masters: Fine Arts and Antiques Collections of Hartford Steam, Ed: Hartford Boiler Coll.
Venice/The Artist's Vision Guide to British and American Painters, Julian Halsby
American Paintings and Sculpture Sterling & Francine Clark Institute, Martha C. Conrads
The Annual Exhibition Record of the Art Institute of Chicago, Peter Hastings Falk (Editor)
Annual Exhibition Record, 1876-1913, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1988, Peter Hastings Falk (Editor)
300 Years of American Art (two volumes), 1986, Michael David Zellman
Exhibition Record 1861-1900, National Academy of Design (Two Volumes), Maria Naylor
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