J. André Smith (1880 - 1959)

Smith was born in Hong Kong, the son of a sea captain who died at sea. The family moved to Hamburg, then Boston, before settling in New York in 1893. He graduated in architecture from Cornell but preferred the painting and etching he pursued in his spare time. By 1911 he had embarked on a new career, attaining considerable note for his etchings. His rapid, accurate work made him by far the most prolific of the official war artists.

Unlike the other official artists, Smith actually received officer’s training and served with a camouflage unit before joining the war art program. As the senior officer in the group, he was its commander and the first to arrive in France, on 15 March 1918. He was discharged in April 1919.

After the war Smith published In France with the American Expeditionary Forces, which included many of his wartime artworks. Based on the success of the book, he built a career as a freelance illustrator and painter. In 1938 he opened a studio and art school in Maitland, Florida, still operating today as the Maitland Art Center.

J. Andre Smith

Charcoal and ink wash sketch on paper. The sketch depicts the edge of a wooded area, with timber fortifications in the center of the scene. Hills and small houses in the background.
Description
Charcoal and ink wash sketch on paper. The sketch depicts the edge of a wooded area, with timber fortifications in the center of the scene. Hills and small houses in the background. Belleau Wood was the scene of intense fighting between Allied soldiers and the German Army towards the end of the First World War.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-08
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.26028
catalog number
26028
accession number
64592
Pencil and watercolor sketch on paper. The sketch shows an American soldier standing in the foreground on the left. He is next to an elaborate cross on a hill, looking out over a village, which is in the background on the right.
Description
Pencil and watercolor sketch on paper. The sketch shows an American soldier standing in the foreground on the left. He is next to an elaborate cross on a hill, looking out over a village, which is in the background on the right. The Argonne forest was the site of a major battle during World War I.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-11
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.26063
catalog number
26063
accession number
64592
A charcoal sketch on paper. This landscape shows Grandpre, France. In the foreground is a battleground with dugouts, barbed wire entanglements, and a bare tree on the left.
Description
A charcoal sketch on paper. This landscape shows Grandpre, France. In the foreground is a battleground with dugouts, barbed wire entanglements, and a bare tree on the left. Beyond the battleground are shell torn buildings, including a large church in the center that has some roof damage. The church is most likely the Église Saint-Médard.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1918
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25989
catalog number
25989
accession number
64592
Charcoal sketch on white paper. Sketch shows groups of American soldiers marching off into the distance between army motor trucks on a dirt road. The road is surrounded by large dead trees and barbed wire entanglements on either side. Rolling hills and fields in the distance.
Description
Charcoal sketch on white paper. Sketch shows groups of American soldiers marching off into the distance between army motor trucks on a dirt road. The road is surrounded by large dead trees and barbed wire entanglements on either side. Rolling hills and fields in the distance. The sky is very cloudy and dark with observation balloons floating in the distance.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.26080
catalog number
26080
accession number
64592
A charcoal and pastel sketch on paper of the Fourth Corps Headquarter sat Hesperange, Luxembourg during World War I. The scene is of a wide road leading through a village. Buildings on the left fly French and American flags.Currently not on view
Description
A charcoal and pastel sketch on paper of the Fourth Corps Headquarter sat Hesperange, Luxembourg during World War I. The scene is of a wide road leading through a village. Buildings on the left fly French and American flags.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25969
catalog number
25969
accession number
64592
A pencil and watercolor sketch on paper. The sketch is of a room in the bishop's palace at Verdun, France during World War I. The focal point is a broken window in the center of the sketch. The rest of the room is also in disrepair.
Description
A pencil and watercolor sketch on paper. The sketch is of a room in the bishop's palace at Verdun, France during World War I. The focal point is a broken window in the center of the sketch. The rest of the room is also in disrepair. Through the window is a view of the village of Verdun.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25999
catalog number
25999
accession number
64592
Charcoal sketch on paper. The work depicts a damaged house on the corner of a street in Badonviller, France during World War I. The roof and one wall of the house are shell-torn, with structural elements, rafters, and the chimney visible from the street.
Description
Charcoal sketch on paper. The work depicts a damaged house on the corner of a street in Badonviller, France during World War I. The roof and one wall of the house are shell-torn, with structural elements, rafters, and the chimney visible from the street. Pairs of soldiers are walking past and gathered around the house.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1918
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25939
catalog number
25939
accession number
64592
A pencil and watercolor sketch on paper of Hattonchatel, France. The town sits atop a hill; in the field below is a barbed wire fence.Currently not on view
Description
A pencil and watercolor sketch on paper of Hattonchatel, France. The town sits atop a hill; in the field below is a barbed wire fence.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25980
catalog number
25980
accession number
64592
A pencil and watercolor sketch on paper of Field Number One at Issoudun, France. The busy airfield depicted here was part of a large training complex for the U.S. Air Service during World War I.Currently not on view
Description
A pencil and watercolor sketch on paper of Field Number One at Issoudun, France. The busy airfield depicted here was part of a large training complex for the U.S. Air Service during World War I.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-08
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25984
catalog number
25984
accession number
64592
A charcoal sketch on paper of a war-torn area in the St. Mihiel Sector of combat during World War I. Several bare trees dominate the scene. Two American soldiers are resting by the tree on the right.
Description
A charcoal sketch on paper of a war-torn area in the St. Mihiel Sector of combat during World War I. Several bare trees dominate the scene. Two American soldiers are resting by the tree on the right. In the foreground, there is a trench with a wooden plank crossing on the right side. Several crosses, presumably marking graves, are in the background on the left.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1918
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25981
catalog number
25981
accession number
64592
A charcoal and watercolor color sketch on paper of Andilly, France. The sketch depicts a tree-lined canal and a few buildings lining the left side of the canal. A man in the center of the drawing is carrying a bucket in each hand.Currently not on view
Description
A charcoal and watercolor color sketch on paper of Andilly, France. The sketch depicts a tree-lined canal and a few buildings lining the left side of the canal. A man in the center of the drawing is carrying a bucket in each hand.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-06
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25905
catalog number
25905
accession number
64592
Pencil and watercolor sketch on beige paper. The work depicts a cemetery with American graves at Ménil-la-Tour, France during World War I. There are several rows of graves, each marked with a cross.
Description
Pencil and watercolor sketch on beige paper. The work depicts a cemetery with American graves at Ménil-la-Tour, France during World War I. There are several rows of graves, each marked with a cross. The graves have small mounds of earth in front of them and wreaths and American flags are sketched on most of the mounds. A barbed wire fence borders the cemetery in the left of the drawing.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-06
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25914
catalog number
25914
accession number
64592
A charcoal and watercolor sketch on paper. The sketch depicts a small village in France where American soldiers were billeted during World War I.
Description
A charcoal and watercolor sketch on paper. The sketch depicts a small village in France where American soldiers were billeted during World War I. The Marne river, seen here in the right background, was
the line a German offensive in the spring and summer of 1918.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-06
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25944
catalog number
25944
accession number
64592
Pencil and watercolor color sketch on paper. The work depicts the French village of Ménil-la-Tour during World War I. Soldiers, trucks, and horses populate the scene; a church steeple rises in the background.Currently not on view
Description
Pencil and watercolor color sketch on paper. The work depicts the French village of Ménil-la-Tour during World War I. Soldiers, trucks, and horses populate the scene; a church steeple rises in the background.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-06
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25916
catalog number
25916
accession number
64592
A pencil, charcoal, and watercolor sketch on paper of a billet at Rangeval, France. The scene is of the top floor of a stable where the soldiers are quartered.
Description
A pencil, charcoal, and watercolor sketch on paper of a billet at Rangeval, France. The scene is of the top floor of a stable where the soldiers are quartered. Several soldiers are at the far end of the loft.
An original label for the sketch read, "This shows the hay loft of a huge stable. The men arrange their bunks in the straw and along the wall. The great shell hole in the roof (the result of former fighting) admits light and air and especially rain. But those men whose beds are exposed to the elements have stretched their ponchos tent-fashion and are enjoying a sort of inside-out existence."
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-05
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25907
catalog number
25907
accession number
64592
Pencil and watercolor sketch on paper. American soldiers, mounted and on foot, move through the square of this small French town. An ambulance is in the right foreground. This scene was captured at the end of the First World War.Currently not on view
Description
Pencil and watercolor sketch on paper. American soldiers, mounted and on foot, move through the square of this small French town. An ambulance is in the right foreground. This scene was captured at the end of the First World War.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-11
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.26051
catalog number
26051
accession number
64592
Charcoal and watercolor sketch on paper. Buildings under construction at Is-sur-Tille, France during World War I.Currently not on view
Description
Charcoal and watercolor sketch on paper. Buildings under construction at Is-sur-Tille, France during World War I.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-06
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25960
catalog number
25960
accession number
64592
Pencil, charcoal, and watercolor sketch on paper. In this scene from the First World War, a regiment of soldiers stops for mess at Pagny-sur-Meuse, France. A large group of soldiers is assembled outdoors of what appears to be a complex of farm buildings.Currently not on view
Description
Pencil, charcoal, and watercolor sketch on paper. In this scene from the First World War, a regiment of soldiers stops for mess at Pagny-sur-Meuse, France. A large group of soldiers is assembled outdoors of what appears to be a complex of farm buildings.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-06
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25915
catalog number
25915
accession number
64592
Pencil and watercolor sketch on beige mounted. The work depicts a street in Sanzey, France during World War I.Currently not on view
Description
Pencil and watercolor sketch on beige mounted. The work depicts a street in Sanzey, France during World War I.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25936
catalog number
25936
accession number
64592
Mixed media on paper. This landscape depicts a battlefield that was part of the Second Battle of the Marne during World War I. This conflict was a turning point in the war.
Description
Mixed media on paper. This landscape depicts a battlefield that was part of the Second Battle of the Marne during World War I. This conflict was a turning point in the war. On July 15-16, 1918, the 38th Regiment of the Third Infantry Division of the United States Army participated in a battle here. Two crosses marking graves in the left foreground.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-07
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25946
catalog number
25946
accession number
64592
Pen and ink wash sketch with touches of graphite. Hills and battleground in distance. In the foreground, houses are being shelled; smoke rises from the shell targets. Parachutists in sky at left.
Description
Pen and ink wash sketch with touches of graphite. Hills and battleground in distance. In the foreground, houses are being shelled; smoke rises from the shell targets. Parachutists in sky at left. The sketch is done on white wove paper mounted on tan card ruled with decorative lines. A printed label is attached to the mount beneath the sketch; it reads: "VIEW OF CHATEAU THIERRY/BY W. J. DUNCAN/TRANSFERRED FROM THE WAR DEPARTMENT/2862"
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-06-07
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
maker
Duncan, Walter Jack
ID Number
AF.25704
catalog number
25704
accession number
64592
Mixed media sketch on paper. Soldiers, horses, and wagons gathered in a courtyard in the town of Echternach, Luxembourg. Many of the soldiers are under a temporary structure on the left.Currently not on view
Description
Mixed media sketch on paper. Soldiers, horses, and wagons gathered in a courtyard in the town of Echternach, Luxembourg. Many of the soldiers are under a temporary structure on the left.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-11
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.25964
catalog number
25964
accession number
64592
Mixed media sketch on paper. The sketch shows two American soldiers sitting in the open air in what was the interior of a church in France during World War I. The only surviving part of the church that is visible is the front wall.
Description
Mixed media sketch on paper. The sketch shows two American soldiers sitting in the open air in what was the interior of a church in France during World War I. The only surviving part of the church that is visible is the front wall. There are large piles of debris throughout the sketch, and one of the soldiers is sitting on a pile of rubble.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.26007
catalog number
26007
accession number
64592
Watercolor sketch on paper. The sketch shows a village bordered by a canal in Haute-Marne, France during World War I.Currently not on view
Description
Watercolor sketch on paper. The sketch shows a village bordered by a canal in Haute-Marne, France during World War I.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
1918-03-27
associated date
1917-1918
associated person
War Department
artist
Smith, J. Andre
ID Number
AF.26003
catalog number
26003
accession number
64592

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