Xanthus Smith diaries, 1883-1892

Smith, Xanthus, b. 1839 d. 1929
Painter, Illustrator
Active in Me.; Pa.,

Collection size: 2 v. (on partial microfilm reel)

Collection Summary: Handwritten diary, January 1-December 31, 1883, and July 1, 1891-May 14, 1892. The entries detail the daily events of Smith, who painted in his studio almost every day, usually finishing a painting in one to three days. The entries also record his domestic life, living with his wife, children, and father, painter Russell Smith, outside of Philadelphia, Pa. He writes of his numerous paintings, often referring to his materials and techniques; of trading pictures for frames; critiques an exhibition of etchings in Philadelphia in 1883; records his investments in stocks and bonds, transactions with his dealers Haseltine and Davis & Harvey; paintings on sea shells that he sold in Atlantic City; photographing of outdoor scenes that he later used as subjects for his paintings; developing photographs; making prints; family illnesses and visits from Dr. Paxton; use of Devoe paints and canvas; a trip to Southwest Harbor, Maine, in 1883, where he made numerous outdoor studies and sketches; and numerous and futile attempts to color glass lantern slides. [This reel is mislabeled Russell Smith].

Biographical/Historical Note: Marine and landscape painter, photographer; Philadelphia, Pa.

Microfilmed by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania for the Archives of American Art, 1955.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reel P23 (fr. 234-331) available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
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