This art museum holds the eclectic collections of George Walter Vincent Smith (1832-1923) and his wife, Belle Townsley Smith (1845-1928) in an Italian palazzo-style building established in 1896. The vast holdings include excellent examples of Japanese lacquer, arms and armor, ceramics and bronzes; one of the largest collections of Chinese cloisonné outside of Asia; Chinese jade and ceramics; and a superb collection of 19th-century Middle Eastern carpets. In addition, the collection contains significant American 19th-century paintings (especially landscape and genre), Italian 19th-century watercolors, a fine assembly of Greek and Roman antiquities, a rare plaster cast collection, objects created for 19th-century International Expositions and examples of lace and early textiles.
Restoration of the Tiffany stained glass windows at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant number MA-30-16-0515-16.
In addition to housing art collections, the museum stewards hundreds of photographs and documents that tell the story of Springfield’s first art museum and offer insights into the lives of its benefactors.
Funded through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, digitizing and sharing these Archives began in 2020.