Full Name James David Smillie
Born 16 January 1833 in New York (Manhattan), New York
Died 14 September 1909 in New York (Manhattan), New York
Buried Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York
Elected 2 June 1877 at age forty-four
James David Smillie was seventy-seven years old [sic: seventy-six] and had been one of our community for thirty-two years. He was a son of New York, educated at the New York University and at the National Academy of Design; here was his home and here his fame was earned. He was a founder of three art societies in this city and in London. He was not merely an able painter, but, trained as a commercial engraver, he was also devoted to artistic engraving and etching. His real studio was the open air amid the giant mountain ranges of America: the Appalachians, the Rockies and the Sierras. His strong permanent work had such scenes as he there found for its subjects, and these he treated with breadth, sympathy and firmness. In his will he provided for a jury to destroy such works as were left in his studio that were not up to the standard of his renown: a novel proviso and an interesting contribution to a weighty subject. He was welcome here for the finest qualities of artist and man, for the originality and suggestiveness of his talk.
William Milligan Sloane
1910 Century Association Yearbook