Smithsburg-area artists featured at exhibit

July 24, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION |
  • Marvin Smith, left, and Richard Newcomer talk while standing in front sculptures by Emily Clayton Bishop Tuesday at The Miller House on West Washington Street in Hagerstown.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — The spotlight shined Tuesday on Smithsburg as the artwork of several artists from that area was exhibited during a two-hour reception at The Miller House on West Washington Street.

Included in the exhibit are works from Emily Clayton Bishop and Luther B. Newcomer, both of whom made impressive strides in the world of art, said John Jacques, president of the Smithsburg Historical Society.

Jacques said the Smithsonian Institution has 16 of Bishop’s sculptures, and Newcomer received a scholarship to further his study of art in Paris.

Newcomer was unable to take advantage of the scholarship, however, because his father became ill and Newcomer had to stay home to take care of the family farm, Jacques said.

Bishop excelled in sculpture in the early 1900s when the art form was dominated by male artists.

The Smithsburg-area native graduated from the Maryland Institute School of Art and Design with the highest honors awarded by the school, and her works in later years were included in national exhibitions, according to historical accounts.

Among the guests at the reception were Suzanne Smith and her husband, Marvin, who live in Keedysville. Suzanne Smith said she is a great niece of Bishop and has hundreds of the woman’s works of art.

Smith, who provided some of Bishop’s artwork for the exhibit, said she is amazed by the volume of work that Bishop produced.

“She must have never quit,” Smith said.

Bishop became ill in Philadelphia and returned to Smithsburg where she created her final piece of work, Jacques said. She died in 1912.

Many of the pieces of Bishop’s artwork on display Tuesday were human sculptures. Some of Newcomer’s pieces were drawings of people.

Also on display was a painting by Sarah Coakley Bishop, Emily Bishop’s cousin.

“They were very well rounded. The Bishop family was very much into the arts,” Jacques said.

The exhibit will continue until the end of next month, said Linda Irvin-Craig, director of the Washington County Historical Society.

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