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A Finding Aid to the Mary, Xanthus, and Russell Smith family papers, 1793-1977, bulk 1826-1977

Mary, Xanthus, and Russell Smith family papers, 1793-1977, bulk 1826-1977

Smith, Mary Russell, 1842-1878


Collection Information

Size: 5.1 linear feet

Summary: Correspondence, writings, artwork, financial records, printed material, miscellaneous items and photographs provide documentation of the lives and works of painter, illustrator and poet, Russell Smith, and his son, painter Xanthus Smith, and scattered documentation of the lives of his wife, painter and educator Mary Priscilla Smith, and daughter and painter Mary Russell Smith.

Biographical/Historical Note

Mary, Xanthus, and Russell Smith were a family of artists in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. Russell Smith (1812-1896) was a native of Glasgow, Scotland whose family came to the United States in 1819 and settled near Pittsburgh. Russell Smith married Mary Priscilla Wilson, a flower painter and teacher of French and drawing, in 1838. Mary Priscilla Smith (1819-1874) studied at a female seminary in Germantown, Pennsylvania operated by noted educator William Russell (Russell Smith's uncle) in Germantown, Pennsylvania, and at Charles Picot's school in Philadelphia. After becoming a mother, she painted very little but taught her children, Xanthus and Mary, to draw and paint. Xanthus Smith (1839-1929) was born in Philadelphia. Mary Russell Smith (1842-1878) was born near Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.


Donated 1978-1979 by Franklin R. Smith, a descendant of Smith.