Collection Connection – Corporal Samuel David Smith, Miss Beverly Kirk

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Corporal Samuel David Smith, Miss Beverly Kirk, n.d., oil on canvas
Collection of The Grace Museum, Gift of the artist

Pippa as Miss Beverly Kirk.

We have our next Pet Takeover of our permanent art collection with Pippa posing as Miss Beverly Kirk by Corporal Samuel David Smith as well as a free coloring page! Smith was born in Thorndale, TX in 1908 (fun fact: his Grandmother was 1/2 sister of famous cattle baron Charles Goodnight, Jr.) but his family settled in Albuquerque in the mid 1920s. When he was 13 he dropped out of school to apprentice with various artists including Nicolai Fechin. During WWII his talent was emphasized on a large scale. In 1941, he attended basic training at Camp Barkeley (outside of Abilene, TX) where he painted a large mural over the entrance of the camp service club. Due to his abilities he received orders to become an Army Combat Artist, serving in West Africa, China-Burma-India, and was part of a C-47 crew that was forced to bail out over South China and rescued by local villagers. After his service he returned to New Mexico where he was the editor of a Journal and taught at the University of New Mexico in the College of Fine Arts. In June, 1995 the Department of Defense 50th Anniversary of WWII Commemoration Committee honored the combat art of Smith and other veteran artists at a special exhibition in Washington, D.C. Corporal Samuel Smith painted this portrait of Miss Beverly Kirk while a student at UNM in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM.