Francis Hopkinson Smith USA

10-23-1838 Baltimore, USA - 4-7-1915, New York, USA

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Smith, Francis Hopkinson

Francis Hopkinson Smith was an author, artist and engineer. He built the foundation for the Statue of Liberty, wrote many famous stories and received awards for his paintings.

Francis' father, who was to appear later as a character in the semi- autobiographical novel, 'The Fortunes of Oliver Horn', seems to have been a man of unusual gifts: a mathematician, a philosopher, and amateur musician who invented a new musical instrument. Like his father, the younger Francis Hopkinson Smith was endowed with versatility, following during his lifetime three successive careers, all of which brought him fame.

Smith was born in Baltimore, Maryland, a descendant of Francis Hopkinson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

After the Civil War, he and partner James Symington established the engineering firm they were to run for thirty years, undertaking such notable projects as the construction of the foundations for the Statue of Liberty, the Block Island breakwater, the Staten Island sea wall, and the Race Rock Lighthouse.

Francis Hopkinson Smith was self-taught as a painter. His books proved so popular that he was able to retire from engineering and devote his time to travel in Spain, Italy and Constantinople. Smith was a striking figure and a popular speak and raconteur, known for his tales of exotic lands. His after-dinner stories provided the basis of his first novel. For over thirty years he spent summers in Venice, painting en plein-air. Francis Hopkinson Smith preferred working outdoors in watercolor, his favorite medium, painting landscapes, portraits, canals, boats and farm scenes.

His first popular book was Col. Carter of Cartersville (1891). His 1896 novel Tom Grogan. and 1898 novel Caleb West, were each the best selling book in the United States in the year of their release. In 1898 he was made a Commander of the Order of the Mejidieh and in 1900 he was named to the Order of Osmanieh by the Sultan of Turkey.

Art Movement: Impressionism Art
Traveled: Cuba, Mexico, Spain,Netherlands, Italy, Turkey
From Wikipedia

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