Chances are, if you had New England relatives, there was a ‘Frank Vining Smith’ in the house somewhere. Seems like I’ve spoken to more that one New England man in the last few weeks with a clear recollection of a Frank Vining Smith print in his childhood bedroom. Much like Norman Rockwell or Andrew Wyeth, the word on Frank Vining Smith just keeps gaining momentum and his work is enjoying a new generation’s admiration. (The mounting auction prices say it all.)
So, here it is, hot off the presses: the new, complete, definitive, comprehensive survey of the works of Frank Vining Smith. The publication coincides with a major exhibit of his work at the Heritage Museum and Gardens this summer (2010) in Sandwich, MA. I’m also lining up a bunch of lectures for author James Craig (from the opening of the exhibit at the Heritage Museum and Gardens to the Rockport Library, the Mariner’s Museum, the Hingham Historical Society with more to come).
Smith has great childhood ties to Hingham, Massachusetts and this rugged, untouched New England shoreline helped to inspire Smith’s palette and imagination on canvas. To support his painting, Smith worked as an illustrator for magazines such as Field and Stream and Outdoors and his illustrations really set the tone for defining that post world-war, peace-time pastime of leisure. Frank Vining Smith was able to enjoy critical and financial success in his lifetime, but it wasn’t until he was 47 that he actually felt comfortable enough to leave his day job and pursue painting full-time.