George Walter Vincent Smith amassed an outstanding collection of American paintings during his lifetime, often purchasing them directly from artists. The intent of this gallery is to feature the paintings that he collected as well as those purchased for the collection at a later time. The paintings are displayed in the style of the popular Painting Salons of the Victorian era.
George Walter Vincent Smith initiated an exhibition of 51 paintings at the Gill Gallery, Springfield MA in 1878. Smith’s intention was to “raise the cultural sights of Western Massachusetts residents.” Similar exhibits were held at the Gill Gallery over the next 40 years and Smith’s taste in collecting changed little during that time. His major areas of focus were Hudson River School and genre paintings. Smith began collecting before the Civil War and assembled over 100 American paintings by the time of his death.
The American Paintings Salon features paintings by the following artists: A. F. Bellows, Albert Bierstadt, A.T. Bricher, J. B. Bristol, J.G. Brown, E.E. Case, Frederic Church, Thomas Cole, Samuel Coleman, J. J. Enneking, S. R. Gifford, Chester Harding, James Hart, William Hart, George Inness, David Johnson, J. F. Kensett, J.J. LaValley, H.R. Lumis, William Magrath, Walter Tallant Owen, M. D. Page, Arthur Parton, W.T. Richards, A.D. Shattuck, A. F. Tait, Benjamin West, Thomas Waterman Wood, Worthington Wittredge and others. Smith’s almost-intact collection offers many fascinating lessons in the values and taste of a bygone era which the gallery will reflect.