Skip to main content

David Smith

1920 – 1999

David Smith, painter, draughtsman, printmaker and teacher, was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, where he attended the Technical School and the Lowestoft and Norwich Schools of Art. During the war, when he served in the RAF, a group of his pictures toured the UK in aid of a forces charity. After the war he studied at the Slade, winning the Abbey Major Rome Scholarship in 1949. In 1951 he was elected RE, and from that time he held many solo shows and participated in numerous group exhibitions. From 1965 to 1979 he was senior lecturer in fine art at the Chelsea School of Art. During the 1970s he served twice as official artist to the British Antarctic Survey. In the 1980s he painted the lighthouses of England and Wales, and illustrated the books View from the Sea (1985) and The Discovery of Antarctica (1990) by GE Fogg. In the foreword to his book The Explorations of Antarctica, the Last Unspoiled Continent (1990) Lord Shackleton described Smith as the finest recorder of the icy region in the twentieth century. Smith's work is in a number of corporate, private and public collections in the UK, including the collection of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.

Updated 2018