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James David Smillie (January 16, 1833 - September 14, 1909), American artist, was born in New York City.

His father, James Smillie (1807-1885), a Scottish engraver, emigrated to New York in 1829, was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1851, did much, with his brother William Cumming (1813-1908), to develop the engraving of bank-notes, and was an excellent landscape-engraver.

The son studied with him and in the National Academy of Design; engraved on steel vignettes for bank-notes and some illustrations, notably F. O. C. Darley's pictures for James Fenimore Cooper's novels; was elected an associate of the National Academy in 1865--the year after he first began painting and an academician in 1876; and was a founder (1866) of the American Water Color Society, of which he was treasurer in 1866-1873 and president in 1873-1878, and of the New York Etching Club.

Among his paintings, in oils, are "Evening among the Sierras" (1876) and "The Cliffs of Normandy" (1885), and in water colour, "A Scrub Race" (1876) and "The Passing Herd" (1888). He wrote and illustrated the article on the Yosemite in Picturesque America.

His brother, George Henry Smillie was also a painter. This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.



1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

JAMES DAVID SMILLIE (1833-1909), American artist, was born in New York City on the 16th of January 18 33. His father, James Smillie (1807-1885), a Scottish engraver, emigrated to New York in 1829, was elected to the National Academy of Design in 1851, did much, with his brother William Cumming (1813-1908), to develop the engraving of bank-notes, and was an excellent landscape-engraver. The son studied with him and in the National Academy of Design; engraved on steel vignettes for bank-notes and some illustrations, notably F. O. C. Darley's pictures for Cooper's novels; was elected an associate of the National Academy in 1865-the year after he first began painting -and an academician in 1876; and was a founder (1866) of the American Water Color Society, of which he was treasurer in1866-1873and president in 1873-1878, and of the New York Etching Club. Among his paintings, in oils, are "Evening among the Sierras" (1876) and "The Cliffs of Normandy" (1885), and in water colour, "A Scrub Race" (1876) and "The Passing Herd" (1888). He wrote and illustrated the article on the Yosemite in Picturesque America. He died on the 14th of September 1909. His brother, George Henry Smillie (1840-), studied under his father and under James M. Hart, became a member of the National Academy of Design in 1882, and, like his brother, painted both in oils and in water colour. His favourite subjects were scenes along the New England coast. In 1881 he married Nellie Sheldon Jacobs (b. 1854), a painter of genre pictures in oils and water colour.


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