Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Smith, Charles Stewart, 1832-1909

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role Collector
dates 1832-1909
city New York City
other citiesStamford, CT; Exeter, NH; Glasgow, Ireland; Manchester, United Kingdom; Paris, France;
sex M
historical notes Charles Stewart Smith (1832-1909) was an art collector and in the dry goods business.

In 1892, while traveling in Japan on his honeymoon with his third wife, née Anna Walton Brown (1858–1934, married in September 1892), he purchased several thousand Japanese prints, ceramics, and paintings from the British journalist and collector Captain Frank Brinkley (1841-1912). Smith gave 1,763 Japanese prints to the New York Public Library and the rest to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Smith's art collection also included work by, among others, Meissonier, Diaz, Dupre, Daubigny, De la Croix, Decamps, Detaille, Troyon, Gerome, Domingo, Cabanel, Gleyre, Knause, Rousseau, Bargue, Jules Breton, Defragge, Boldini, Zamacois, Millet, Fortuny, Corot, Edouard Frere, Leloir, Ziem, De Neuville, Schreyer, A. Steinheil, Van Marcke, Cazin, and Munkaesy (New York Times, Dec. 1, 1909).

Smith was a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the president, and director of the Associates Land Company, vice president and director of the City and Suburban Homes Company, treasurer and director of the Woodlawn Cemetery, trustee of Barnard College and director of the Fifth Avenue Bank, German Alliance Insurance Company, Greenwich Savings Bank, and Fourth National Bank. He was a member of the Union League, Lawyers, Players, Century, and Merchants Club (Brooklyn Eagle, Nov. 30, 1909).

Smith was the Vice President of the Society of Art Collectors (558 Fifth Avenue), the held an exhibition comparing works by European and American artists in 1904, at the American Fine Arts Society (215 W 57th Street). He lent work to the 1904 exhibition by Louis Eugen Boudin, Thomas Couture, and Jean Louis Géricault. Works once owned by Stewart were lent to the Hudson-Fulton Celebration, 1909: listed in the catalogue as "Singing Boys - Frans Hals" and "Saint John the Baptist – Rembrandt."

Smith had two previous wives and three children. His first wife was Eliza Bradish Smith (d. 1863, married 1859), they had two children, Kate Warne Smith (1858–1879) and Stewart Woodruff Smith (1861–1907). His second wife was Henrietta Haight Caswell Smith (1844-1888, married in April 1869), and they one child, Howard Caswell Smith (1871–1965).
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Archives/Repository Collection Title Collection Details
New York Public Library, General Research Division
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Rm. 315
Tribute of the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York to the memory of Mr. Charles Stewart Smith, president 1887-1894, December Second, Nineteen Hundred and Nine. see details...
New York Public Library
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Catalogue of Japanese porcelains and faience [microform] [collected by ... ] see details...

see also:
Humphreys, Alexander Crombie, 1851-1927
Smith, Charles Stewart, 1832-1909