Woman of the Century/Isabel Elizabeth Smith
SMITH, Miss Isabel Elizabeth, artist, born in Clermont county, Ohio, in 1845. She is of Scotch descent. Her father, Alexander Smith, was born in Perthshire, Scotland. He came to this country in 1820 and located in Belmont county, Ohio. His wife was Miss Rachel McClain. They had a family of three children, a son and two daughters. The father was a man of great nobility of character, a lover of art and a philanthropist. The mother is a woman of excellent mind and given to the doing of kindly deeds. Miss Smith early developed a taste for art. She was educated in the Western Female College, Oxford, Ohio, and studied art during vacations in Cincinnati. After her education she went abroad and studied in Paris and Dresden. After an absence of nearly three years she returned to this country and opened a studio in Washington, D. C., in 1871. ISABEL ELIZABETH SMITH. She achieved marked success in portrait painting, having many prominent persons as sitters, among them Secretary Stanton, a full length portrait of whom was ordered from her by the representatives of the city government. She also painted the portrait of Mrs. Cramer, a sister of Gen. U. S. Grant. While in that city, she became a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. During her years of labor in Washington her eyes failed her, but after a season of rest she again went to Paris to learn the Sevres method of painting on porcelain. She also studied in the Dresden Gallery, receiving criticisms from the celebrated Director Schnoor von Carroldsfeld. On her return she opened a studio in New York City, where she had the best possible recognition from the literary and art circles. While there she was elected a member of Sorosis, in which society she held the position of chairman of the art committee. She usually has several students, whom she teaches gratuitously. When fifteen years of age, she had a severe illness, during which she vowed to build a church for the poor in her native place, which through her aid and influence has been done, and to which she gives her interest and help. Her father owned a large tract of land in Florida, near the mouth of the St. John's river, where he had an orange grove and a winter home. There she spent several winters. Her father died several years ago. She has painted in Cincinnati, and her portraits there are highly praised. She has been the instructor in art in Chautauqua, N. Y., for four years, having her studio in the Kellogg Memorial Building. Sue gave up her studio in New York to devote her time and care to her invalid mother.