Michael A. Smith
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1942 - )
Lives Ottsville, Pennsylvania
Michael A. Smith is best known for his horizontal format landscapes and cityscapes, although he is accomplished as a portraitist as well. Self-taught as a photographer, Smith earned a B.S. in pre-law from Temple University, graduating in 1963. Three years later he started shooting with a 35mm camera, and soon transitioned to making contact prints from an 8x10 view camera. In the late 1970s, Smith added an 8x10 format camera to his repertoire and began using an 18x22 camera in the mid-1980s. An avid traveler, Smith’s career has brought him to every state in the continental United States, as well as Western Canada, Mexico and Europe. He served as the artist-in-residence at Yosemite National Park in 1988.
Smith received National Endowment for the Arts grants in 1977 and 1982, as well as the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Photographer’s Fellowship in 1995. He has taught at the Philadelphia College of Art, Deep Springs College in California, and Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. In 1992 the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, mounted a 25-year retrospective of his work, which coincided with the release of the book Michael A. Smith: A Visual Journey – Photographs from Twenty-five Years. Smith’s other books include the two-volume monograph Landscapes 1975-1979 (1981), Chicago: Loop (2009), Iceland: A Personal View (2015) and Ocean Variations (2015). His work is represented in the collections of many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.