Artist Biography

Langdon SMITH
1870 - 1959

Langdon Smith was born on June 12, 1870 in Massachusetts. He was a small boy when his family migrated to Denver and, shortly thereafter, to Pasadena. After studying at the Los Angeles School of Art & Design, he went east in 1895 and found employment as an illustrator with the New York Herald. After two years, the lure of the outdoors called him back to California and between 1905-06 he was a working partner in the stage coach line between Mojave and Olancha. After the turn of the century, his career as an illustrator zoomed and between 1907-12 he produced 22 covers for West Coast Magazine as well as many book illustrations. Beginning in 1915 winters were spent in his studio in Los Angeles and the rest of the year in northern California in the small town of Forest City in the Sierra Nevada where he engaged in gold mining and painting. In 1959 he was taken to the Miner's Hospital in Grass Valley with an intestinal disorder and died a few months later on September 9. Smith recorded in oil, watercolor, and pen-and-ink the last of the Old West, mining scenes, and early California. His drawings of cowboys compare favorably with those by Ed Borein. Exhibited: Alaska-Yukon Exposition (Seattle), 1909.

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