Robert E. Smith is a nationally known folk and "outsider" artist. His paintings have been featured at New York City's prestigious Museum of American Folk Art and sold at distinguished galleries coast-to-coast. He has also been featured in The Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century American Folk Art. His unique visions, brimming with color, humor and incident, represent a triumph of the imagination over a strenuous and difficult life. Bibliography and great photos on Detour Art.
Robert Eugene Smith
October 14, 1927- February 13, 2010
Robert Eugene Smith was born in St. Louis, Mo
to Mary Agnes (Walls, Smith,) Dowler and Clarence Smith
Robert lived a rich life and had many friends in Springfield, MO where he passed.
About the BlogThis page is dedicated to the artist, Robert E Smith.
If you know Robert and would like to add to this site
please e-mail me stories, photos, links to video and
anything else that will help to tell his story. - Grace Matthews
I'm Robert's cousin in San Diego, Ca. (858) 576-0476
Order on Amazon
Paintings, Drawings, Poems, and Stories
Selected and Edited by Eric Pervukhin and Carla Stine
But Smith’s art reveals more than an imagination unfettered. The work of an inveterate story-teller, his paintings present witty, savvy, complex visual narratives. Cartoon animals mingle with sidewalk preachers, movie stars, and U.S. Presidents; in busy street scenes, bicycles and trolley cars bustle below while blimps and airplanes and UFOs—and an occasional nuclear bomb—fly overhead. Smith’s painting revels in satire, revealing an eye for incongruity and an inherent love of life. Even a cursory view of his work reflects a man who led a rich, wondrous life and whose fanciful yearnings inspired the community that cherished him.
Born in St. Louis, Smith moved to Springfield in 1975. Drawn mainly from local, privately-owned collections, the present anthology features thirty full-color illustrations along with cartoons, poems, and stories by the artist.
Eric Pervukhin is Professor of Art and Design at Missouri State University. His paintings, drawings, and book illustrations have earned international acclaim.
7 x 7, 80 pages, 50 illustrations
(30 in color)
Distributed for Moon City Press.
“Folk art can help you to lead a halfway decent life,” Robert E. Smith (1927-2010) was heard to say; but Springfield, Missouri’s most famous, eccentric, and beloved painter pushed his work into the realm of outsider art. Self-taught, Smith began painting while a young man: forcibly institutionalized following a nervous breakdown, he retreated into his art. Unsurprisingly, his art brut is unbounded by logic, time, and space, brilliantly colored, at once childlike and troubling.
Carla Stine is a designer, collage artist, and illustrator. She is an admirer of Robert’s work and life and honored to have been his friend. June 2011
Video from Robert's memorial
Links to News Articles
Springfield, MO Artist Passes Away Leaving Many Memories Behind, By KSPR News, By Will Carter, Story Created: Feb 14, 2010 at 9:37 PM CST, Story Updated: Feb 14, 2010 at 10:32 PM CST
Robert E Smith's Art Work
Shelly (daughter, ring bearer and minister): Do you take Grace to be your lawful wedded wife, sir brad?
Sir Brad, I do. With This ring. I bewed.
I, Grace Welty accept Brad to be my lawful wedded husband.
Robert E Smith © April 17, 2000
"A Wild Afternoon"
is a 2006 Robert E. Smith painting
using watercolor, acrylic and ink.
There often is a baby among the characters in his paintings.
(News-Leader file photo, 2006)
"It is his magnificent vision of innocence.
He sees the world in a way most of us have lost a long time ago."