Archives of American Art

Xanthus Smith diaries

Collection ID:
Smith, Xanthus, 1839-1929
Physical Description:
2 Volumes
(on partial microfilm reel)

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Handwritten diary, January 1-December 31, 1883, and July 1, 1891-May 14, 1892. The entries detail the daily events of Smith, who painted in his studio almost every day, usually finishing a painting in one to three days. The entries also record his domestic life, living with his wife, children, and father, painter Russell Smith, outside of Philadelphia, Pa. He writes of his numerous paintings, often referring to his materials and techniques; of trading pictures for frames; critiques an exhibition of etchings in Philadelphia in 1883; records his investments in stocks and bonds, transactions with his dealers Haseltine and Davis & Harvey; paintings on sea shells that he sold in Atlantic City; photographing of outdoor scenes that he later used as subjects for his paintings; developing photographs; making prints; family illnesses and visits from Dr. Paxton; use of Devoe paints and canvas; a trip to Southwest Harbor, Maine, in 1883, where he made numerous outdoor studies and sketches; and numerous and futile attempts to color glass lantern slides. [This reel is mislabeled Russell Smith].

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Marine and landscape painter, photographer; Philadelphia, Pa.

Existence and Location of Copies
35mm microfilm reel P23 (fr. 234-331) available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Microfilmed by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania for the Archives of American Art, 1955.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Painting, Modern -- 19th century -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photography -- History -- 19th century Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Painters -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, Russell, 1812-1896 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001