Elmer Boyd Smith (1860-1943)

Elmer Boyd Smith (1860-1943). Setter, c.1900. Oil on canvas measures 22 x 27 inches; 27 x 32 inches in honey-colored pine frame, natural patina. Signed lower right.

Depicted is a Llewellin Setter rendered for a magazine or book illustration. Mostly gray tones with a hint of blue in sky and yellow in field. A touch of red in the eye. Very subtle use of color to great effect.  Some inpainting and restoration of paint loss in 1: narrow horizontal swath above dog’s back; 2: extreme left margin of painting. There is no loss or restoration in the area of dog, only in background. The quality of this retouching is professional virtually invisible.



Born in St. John, New Brunswick in 1860, E. Boyd Smith was raised in Boston, and educated in France. At an early age he worked for the Riverside Press in Boston then went to Paris where he studied drawing and painting and wrote and illustrated his first book, “My Village”.He returned to Boston in 1898 where he illustrated books for Houghton Mifflin. In early 1900, he went West sketching Indians and herders. Smith illustrated books by Andy Adams (“Log Of A Cowboy”) and Mary Austin (“Land Of Little Rain”) insuring his reputation as a western artist.Among his many illustrated books “Noah’s Ark” began a series of many books for children.Smith retired in Wilton, Connecticut,and died in 1943.

Birth place: St. John, New Brunswick, Canada

Death place: Wilton, CT

Addresses: Boston, MA, 1880s & 1890s; Wilton, CT (early 1900s-on)

Profession: Painter, illustrator, writer

Studied: Académie Julian, Paris with Boulanger and Lefebvre, 1881-84; also with H. Lefort

Exhibited: Boston AC, 1885-86, 1896-98;PAFA Ann., 1885, 1898; Paris Salon, 1891 (etchings), 1892-94; Soc. Nat. Beaux-Arts, 1897, 1899

Member: Boston AC.

Comments: After spending the 1880s-90s in France (living in Paris and Auvers), he traveled through the West sketching and briefly lived in Kansas City where he was the first director, Kansas City AA and School of Design. By the early 1900s he settled in Connecticut. Author/illustrator: The Story of Noah’s Ark,” “The Chicken World,” “Pocahontas and Captain John Smith,” “The Story of Our Country.”