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Artist Biography

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Francis Hopkinson Smith found success in several fields: first as an engineer, and later as an artist, author, illustrator, and storyteller. During his thirty-year career as an engineer, Smith was responsible for several important and technically demanding Federal Government projects, including the foundation for the Statue of Liberty, the Block Island breakwater, Staten Island sea wall, and the Race Rock Lighthouse in Long Island Sound. In his spare time he indulged his passions for painting and writing, which over time evolved into a second, equally successful career. Over the course of his lifetime he created and illustrated some twelve novels, and a great many travel journals containing reproductions of his plein air paintings and sketches from Europe, Mexico, and Turkey. Venice was a spot of particular interest: he spent over thirty summers painting that city. Smith was a self-taught artist, with an engineer’s eye for spatial depiction, and a raconteur’s talent for creating narrative interest. His landscapes and maritime scenes were illustrated and exhibited widely, making him both a popular and respected artist.