Basic Biographical Details

Name: Leonard John Smith
Designation: Artist
Born: 20 July 1885
Died: 8 April 1957
Bio Notes: Leonard John Smith was born on 20 July 1885, the son of John Smith, jeweller, of the firm A & J Smith. He attended Aberdeen Grammar School from 1890 to 1902 and studied at Gray's School of Art from 1902 where he had a reputation as a fine draughtsman. Classes he attended included history of architecture, antique drawing, mechanics, life drawing and architecture. He was articled to Kelly & Nicol from about 1902 and after completing his articles, remained with the practice as an assistant until 1907-8. He was a keen sportsman and played for Aberdeen Grammar School FPs rugby team after leaving school.

Smith emigrated to Canada leaving on 28 May 1910 on the SS Southwark bound for Montreal. He moved to Toronto and practised there until 1914 when he returned to the United Kingdom to join the 51st Divisional Signal Co, Royal Engineers, commanding the 153rd (Gordon) Brigade Section continuously from May 1915 until severely wounded in March 1918. He was awarded the MC for gallantry in June 1917.

After the cease of hostilities, he returned to North America and spent a number of years in New York and Toronto where he specialised in ornamental work. He returned to London in 1923 and produced much 'vivid and amusing work' in black and white, much of which appeared anonymously in newspapers and journals. He also exhibited watercolours, etchings and drawings in 'silverpoint' in London and on the Continent. During the First World War the 51st Highland Division adopted him as its official artist and he produced may lively sketches, some of which are now in the National Library of Scotland.

Smith died in Bexhill, Sussex on 8 April 1957.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this artist:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 124, Gladstone Place, Aberdeen, ScotlandPrivate1902 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this artist (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Kelly & Nicolc. 1902 Apprentice 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this artist:
Item 1 of 1Simpson, W Douglas A tribute offered by the University of Aberdeen to the memory of William Kelly LLD ARSA  Fenton Wyness's copy containing obituary pasted in at front. (Per Morag Cross).

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this artist:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Aberdeen Journal21 November 1906   
Item 2 of 3Aberdeen Journal8 June 1917   
Item 3 of 3Aberdeen Weekly Journal7 September 1939   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this artist:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of & Emigration records