Gallery Artists > Jack Wilkinson Smith Biography :

Jack Wilkinson Smith (1873 - 1949)  Artworks >>

Artists who worked with Jack Wilkinson Smith in San Gabriel or Alhambra, CA on Champion Place were Victor Forsythe, Frank Tenney Johnson, Eli Harvey, Sam Hyde Harris, Virginia McElroy, Hughlette Wheeler (Tex) and Clyde Champion. Smith was born in Patterson, New Jersey in 1873. His grandfather owned an 80 acre farm, including what is now Madison Square Garden. His father painted some of the decorations in the New York State Capital Building in Albany. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute and under Frank Duveneck in Cincinnati and became a newspaper artist on the Cincinnati Enquirer. He gained national attention with his sketches of the Spanish American War. He went to Lexington, Kentucky, where he had his first "one man show", and met and married Emma Troop. They came to Los Angeles in 1908, where he taught in city schools. Frank Tenney Johnson suggested that Smith look on Champion Place for a location for his studio, and he introduced him to Clyde Champion. Jack Wilkinson Smith promptly bought the house and property at 16 Champion Place, and Bernice and Clyde Champion built across the street. They were fast friends for twenty-two years, until Smith's death in New York in 1948 from a heart attack. Smith painted from Kansas plains to the Oregon Coast. His friends in Art of Los Angeles were Hanson Puthuff, F. Tenney Johnson, William Wendt, Charles Austin, Clyde Forsythe. Marjorie Reed contributed her success to Jack Wilkinson Smith, who was her instructor for years. He was the original founder of the Biltmore Salon, which later was operated on a cooperative basis with sixteen other artists. It was because of his dedication to the founding of this gallery and his membership on the board of the California Art Club, serving in the capacity as president, that he became the only artist in the exclusive "Murder Club" which discussed all sorts of recondite subjects. His painting of Lingering Snow is in Gardena High School. Gathering Storm is one of the finest of his marine paintings. Of all the artists who painted in Alhambra in the 30's, Jack Wilkinson Smith was the most colorful in that he had a flair for entertaining and was very popular as a civic leader. He was very handsome and articulate. Source

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