Henry Pember Smith (1854–1907)
Born in 1854, Henry Pember Smith would become a talented painter of pastoral landscapes during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Like many of his artistic contemporaries, Smith chose to create idealized visions of his rural environs that appealed to an increasingly urban America. His beautifully rendered scenes, which often incorporate views of humble cottages enveloped in glowing light, are a testament to his natural ability, as he was likely self-taught. In addition to his picturesque views of American country homesteads and life, Smith created naturalistic seascapes inspired by the New England coastline. The artist also traveled abroad – a fact confirmed by his painted views of Venice, Brittany, Normandy, and England.
Smith was an active member of the American artistic community, exhibiting regularly at the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, and with the Brooklyn Arts Association. The artist was a member of societies such as the American Water Color Society and the Artists Fund Society as well. Today, his works can be found in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, the Brooklyn Art Museum, and the Butler Institute of American Art.