Saturday, June 19, 2010

William A. Smith Art Exhibit

William A. Smith has been the subject of quite a few posts here on Today's Inspiration. And why not? Smith's work is among the best of the mid-20th century period in illustration and deserves to be revisited again and again.

During WWII William A Smith spent time in China in the service of the Office of Strategic Services. There he created propaganda art - its purpose, to demoralize the occupying Japanese forces. Smith also did many sketches and paintings of the Chinese people who were enduring that occupation and of the towns and villages and the surrounding countryside in which they lived.

These personal art works are an admirable testament to the tremendous respect and affection Smith felt for the people he encountered. They are also an important historical document that sheds a personal light on a troubling time in a place to which not many of us here in the west have much of a connection.

With this being Father's Day weekend, I thought I should bring to your attention one daughter who recently went to a great deal of effort to share the memory of her father - and his work - with us. Kim Smith is the daughter of William A Smith, and the curator of a show of her father's artwork from his WWII tour of duty in China.

If you happen to live near San Rafael, CA, this is a show you won't want to miss. Perhaps its even something you might like to take your father too (though unfortunately not this weekend - the gallery is only open from Monday to Friday).

* For further information contact Sandi Chin, Director of University Community Exhibitions at Dominican University, at the phone number or email address above.

* See much more of William A Smith's work and read about his career on the William A Smith blog.


  1. Thanks, this is just over the hill from us and I'm looking forward to seeing the exhibition.

  2. Thanks for another great post, Leif-- as always, you have your finger on the pulse of what is going on in the illustration world.

    Smith was terrific artist who led a colorful life, and people certainly deserve a fresh chance to see his work through this show. I have been looking for a chance to get out there before the end of the year to see it myself.

    Kudos also to Smith's dedicated daughter Kim, a highly talented artist in her own right. This took a lot of work to put together, and it's a wonderful thing for many reasons.

  3. Nikolas12:16 PM

    Wow! Logged on this morning, checking the updates around the blog world and this comes up. I am living in san rafael, about 3 minutes from this gallery. I am huge fan of his, I am so pumped to see his work in person. Leif, you deserve a humanitarian award, for all the insight you share.
    Thank you

  4. I shall have to sprint down from Petaluma to see this. A twenty minute drive. thanks for the heads up.

  5. I hope you all can come to see the show. The reception is the evening of July 8th. I'm hoping the show will continue to a couple of other venues. People are LOVING it!

    Thanks, Leif, for posting this.

    Cheers to all.