San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Oakland

May Bradford Shockley     May Bradford Shockley     ( art )   (more art)

- May Bradford was among Effie Anderson Smith's earliest mentors in the West, beginning in 1908. They seem to have been of similar outlook.  Effie and May were strongly passionate about the arts, and both also had a deep understanding and connection to geology and mining - Effie, through her husband the mining engineer - and May, through her own work in that industry.  They each lived for extended periods in remote mining camps, and consequently both women appear to have been quite handy with a gun.

Laguna Beach and Arizona

Anna Althea Hills     Anna Althea Hills    ( more info)  (art)  (more art)

- A founder of the Laguna Beach Arts Association, Hills is also known to have painted in Arizona. Whether Effie Anderson Smith knew Hills in Arizona has not yet been confirmed.  It is known that Effie and her husband made frequent trips to Southern California and that Effie studied with Hills in Laguna Beach starting around 1914, returning there several times throughout the 1920's.  The influence of Hills on Effie's evolution as a painter of landscapes is clear.


Pasadena  - The Stickney Memorial School of Fine Arts

Jean (Gene) Mannheim     Jean (Gene) Mannheim    ( art )  

- Effie credits Jean Mannheim as being the greatest influence and source of encouragement in her art. She began studies under him in 1915 with special emphasis on landscapes.  Mannheim later told her to take all she had learned and to artistically 'work out her own problems' in Arizona.  Effie seems to have been especially energized by Mannheim and others in Pasadena.  Her enhanced technique and confidence increased the trajectory of her output steadily, and by the mid-1920's she was scheduling many solo shows and exhibits.  The resulting 'plein air' landscapes depicting the raw natural beauty of Arizona's deserts and mountains dominated her works, reaching a zenith in her Grand Canyon paintings, which became E.A. Smith's highest achievement.

Richard Edward (Emil) Miller     Richard Emil (Edward) Miller    ( more info )  ( art )

- Miller taught the 'life class' at the Stickney School, and E. A. Smith studied with him beginning in 1916. While landscapes dominate Effie's output, a few paintings depicting structures (homes, buildings) were created as commissions, but no portraits or still life paintings by Effie are known.  She would certainly have tried her hand at these in classes with Miller (and Jean Mannheim). Regardless, Effie mentions Richard E. Miller as a key influence during this important phase of her development as an artist. 

Jane McDuffie Thursday    Jane McDuffie Thurston   ( more info )

- E. A. Smith appears to have studied with Jane McDuffie at the Stickney School sometime around 1917 or after.  Details regarding the influence she had on Effie's work are still being researched and assessed.

Other Formative Art Studies took place in Philadelphia and New York.

About this website...

Welcome to the E. A. Smith Archive.  This website features memorabilia from a collection of the artists' papers which remain in family hands. Newly digitized images of her paintings, photographs, documents and other emphemera are posted as they become available.

We are gathering details on paintings by Effie Anderson Smith to be included in our forthcoming catalogue raisonné , so we're always interested to hear about any E. A. Smith (Mrs. A. Y.) paintings, photos, letters or other related items you own or have seen. Your comments and questions are invited.

150th birthday exhibits

The FIRST EXHIBITS EVER IN ARKANSAS of the pioneering desert impressionist landscapes of Arkansas-born EFFIE ANDERSON SMITH will occur during 2021 to honor Mrs. Smith's 150th birthday anniversary.  

Exhibits originally scheduled for 2020 in Nashville, Washington and Arkadelphia are being RESCHEDULED for FALL 2021, due to pandemic conditions.  We hope to announce new exhibit dates for the FALL sometime this summer.

The special selection of paintings traveling to Arkansas for this 150th birthday exhibit tour are drawn from the EA Smith Archive collection, including several loaned by Arizonans whose pioneer ancestors knew the artist, or from collectors who bought Effie's art because they recognize her historically important legacy as The Dean of Arizona Women Artists. 

IMAGES from Past Exhibits: Our 2019 Arizona exhibits and talks in Tucson, Willcox, Douglas and Pearce were each great successes, including the 150th birthday Retrospective Exhibit "Effie !" at the Tucson Desert Art Museum.

Effie's Early Life in Arkansas

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ARKANSAS History and Culture  now includes an updated biographical sketch on Effie, including recently uncovered facts about her youth, in and around the towns of Nashville, Washington and Hope, in Southwest Arkansas.

Reviving Effie's legacy

ANN JAPENGA continues her wonderful series CALIFORNIA DESERT ART with a very encouraging article about Effie's art, and our efforts to restore greater understanding and appreciation of Effie's artistic legacy.

Could America Have Also Been the Birthplace of Impressionism?   The story of Effie Anderson Smith, forgotten impressionist from the American frontier. - by Kelsey McKinney on


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Effie's Life, in Brief...

 1869: Born near Nashville, Arkansas.

 1884: At 15 Effie is painting landscapes.

 1890: Weds W.M. Spencer in Hope, Ark.

 1891: Effie becomes a widow at age 21.

 1894-95: Teaches school in Deming, NM.

 1895-96: Weds A.Y. Smith, settles in Pearce.

 1904-28: Travels to CA for art studies.

 1907: Art becomes solace after death of baby girl.

 1914-16: Studies in Pasadena & Laguna Beach.

 1927-30: Notoriety of Grand Canyon works.

 1929: Fire at Smith home, some works lost.

 1931: Exhibits in major Eastern Cities.

 1931: Beloved husband A.Y. Smith dies.

 1932-45: Effie's most prolific years as artist. 

 1942: Effie unveils new series on Desert Flora.

 1945: Starts art discussion class in Douglas.

 1948: Effie begins painting Coronado Trail series.

 1949: 80th birthday retrospective in Douglas

 1951: Moves to AZ Pioneers' Home in Prescott.

 1953: Effie ceases painting due to vision issues. 

 1955: Death claims Effie - Age 85.

Exhibition Catalogue

An Exhibition Catalogue is now available from our 2012 Arizona Statehood Centennial exhibit in E-Book (PDF) format. We are happy to provide a copy to interested collectors, art historians, dealers and appraisers.

Direct inquiries to: E.A. Smith Archive

Terms of Use...

The contents of this website are made available for educational and research purposes, and for the private personal non-commercial enjoyment of individuals wishing to learn more about the life and art of Effie Anderson Smith. Please do not copy, distribute, or publish these materials in any manner. Questions or comments?  Please contact us. Copyright 2011-2021. EASmith Archive.