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Xanthus Smith diaries, 1883-1892

Smith, Xanthus, 1839-1929

Painter, Illustrator


Collection Information

Size: 2 Volumes, (on partial microfilm reel)

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.

Language Note

English .

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reel P23 (fr. 234-331) available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

Xanthus Smith diaries, 1883-1892. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.