Thursday, September 27, 2012

William A. Smith biography

 article from the January 3, 1988, Toledo Blade detailing the controversy over the restoration of Smith's MARYLAND HOUSE MURALS,2802269

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yesterday we visited ELLICOTT'S HOUSE in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and saw some evidence of William A. Smith's ELLICOTT'S MURAL. They used a photo of ELLICOTT'S MURAL in this collection of images pertaining to Ellicott's instruments. The WASHINGTON POST's cartoonist PATRICK M. REYNOLDS copied William A. Smith's ELLICOTT for his cartoon. Silvio Bedini called ELLICOTT'S MURAL the ELLICOTT/BANNEKER mural

Silvio Bedini

A Bedini article in 1991 Spring/Summer issue of WASHINGTON HISTORY may contain some information about ELLICOTT'S MURAL. It is cited here:

I found this quote today on the Web at site called ENCYCLOPEDIA.COM                                                                                 :

   "The most accurate representation known may be found on a modern mural painting by the late William H. Smith[sic] of the survey of the federal territory. It hangs in the Maryland House on the John F. Kennedy Highway in Aberdeen, Maryland." 

another important link:

In my effort to chronicle the future of William A. Smith's Maryland House Murals, I'm putting some images on my blog that I acquired from the Maryland Department of Transportation. I'll keep them up as long as I receive no objections from the State of Maryland or the estate of William A. Smith.

This is the mural of Lord Calvert Negotiating With The Indians that is now in the possession of St. Mary's College. It was altered by an artist named Carli at the request of the Maryland Department of Transportation back in the Eighties. The original artist, William A. Smith, objected to his name continuing to be on this adulterated mural but the Maryland Department of Transportation refused to take his name down. This was one of the cases that led to the drafting and enactment of the federal Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990. I have been informed that this second portion of the large FOUNDING OF MARYLAND mural depicting The Landing of Lord Calvert was not touched by another artist. Here's another view of Smith's Landing of Lord Calvert when it was in the Maryland House. It is now in storage. Here are printed images of both parts of THE FOUNDING OF MARYLAND: Lord Calvert Negotiating With The Indians on the left and The Landing of Lord Calvert on the right. Here's a circa 1967 image of William A. Smith painting The Landing of Lord Calvert This is Smith painting Lord Calvert Negotiating With The Indians I received this email yesterday from Kim Smith, artist William A. Smith's daughter.

Thank you......
For your sensitive posting of the Baltimore Sun article about the Maryland House murals.  Our family so appreciates the attention to this painful episode in our Dad's career.  Did you get interested in his work from seeing the painting of Ellicott on the cover of the Bedini book?

We are not sure what the disposition of the murals will be.  My own opinion is that they should go to the National Portrait Gallery or another institution where they will be seen in a proper context.

I understand you will be following this story on your blog.  Are you a historian?  Please let us know if we can help you in any way.

Thanks to you,

Kim Smith

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A blog featuring comments from Kim and Kathlin, William A. Smith's daughters, about their Father's sketchbooks.
Maryland House murals to be preserved
(AP) The state is planning to preserve a set of murals that have decorated a shuttered travel plaza near Aberdeen for more than 40 years. The pair of four-panel murals from the Maryland House on Interstate 95 will be kept in a climate-controlled fine-art storage facility because of their historic and artistic value, The Baltimore Sun reported. The murals painted by William A. Smith depict significant events and people in Maryland history. They were commissioned in 1966 and installed in 1968. The Maryland House is being rebuilt, but a Maryland Transportation Authority spokeswoman said the murals won’t be installed there. She said the agency has no plans for displaying the works.