This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.

Louise Jordan Smith

Louise Jordan Smith (March 28, 1868 – December 31, 1928) was an American painter and academic.

Smith was active as an artist in Lynchburg, Virginia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.[1] In 1895 she and Bernhard Gutmann founded the Lynchburg Art League.[2] During the 1890s she studied art in Paris for two years, and during that same decade she became chairman of the art department at Randolph-Macon Woman's College.[1] A cousin of the institution's first president, William Waugh Smith,[3] she held that "the only way to develop taste in art is to study paintings frequently, seriously, and at leisure,"[4] and it was she who suggested William Merritt Chase as the artist for his formal portrait, presented to the school in 1907 by the senior class of that year.[5] The first art professor on the college's faculty,[6] it was she who instigated the purchase of Men of the Docks by George Bellows in 1920, an event which marked the foundation of the school's Maier Museum of Art.[7] It was also under her direction that the college held its First Annual Exhibition in 1911, believed to be the first exhibition of modern art held on a college campus anywhere in the United States.[8][9] Furthermore, in 1893 Smith opened her lectures to the women of Lynchburg, which one source claims may have been the first organized system of adult education in Virginia.[8] During her academic career Smith also taught French at the College, and invited prominent artists of her acquaintance to come and speak to the student body.[10] At her death she was buried in the Warrenton Cemetery in Warrenton, Virginia.[11]

Smith's pupils included Georgia Weston Morgan, herself to become a prominent figure in Lynchburg's artistic scene.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Raleigh Lewis Wright (1983). Artists in Virginia before 1900: an annotated checklist. University Press of Virginia. ISBN 978-0-8139-0998-1.
  2. ^ J. Daniel Pezzoni (May 2000). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Centerview" (PDF). Virginia Department of Historic Resources.
  3. ^ "About". The Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  4. ^ Williams, Mary F. (1972). "The Painting Collection at Randolph-Macon". Art Journal. 32 (2): 192–195. doi:10.1080/00043249.1973.10793107.
  5. ^ The Magazine Antiques. Straight Enterprises. October 1989.
  6. ^ "College reflects on history, looks to future at 125th Anniversary Convocation – News and Events". Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  7. ^ Tucker, Neely (19 September 2007). "A Small College, Painted Into a Corner". Retrieved 13 March 2018 – via
  8. ^ a b The Commonwealth. Virginia State Chamber of Commerce. 1978.
  9. ^ Randolph-Macon Woman's College. Alumnae Association (1995). Alumnae Bulletin.
  10. ^ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (1964). Members' Bulletin. The Museum.
  11. ^ Louise Jordan Smith at Find a Grave