Alice Ravenel Huger Smith (1876–1958), a leading figure of the Charleston Renaissance, was known for her dreamy watercolors of marsh vistas.
But the artist also painted portraits, sketched architectural drawings, and started a local movement of artists dabbling in Japanese woodblock printing inspired by the work of Utagawa Hiroshige and Katsushika Hokusai.
In a new book, Alice: Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, Charleston Renaissance Artist, Smith’s relatives Caroline Palmer and Anne Gaud Tinker and close family friend Dwight McInvaill describe how Smith was an innovator and influencer long before the latter term became trendy with the Instagram set. “She inspired so many of her contemporaries to strive for artistic excellence,” McInvaill says.
New recently opened exhibitions at Middleton Place National Historic Landmark and the Edmondston-Alston House in Charleston, South Carolina, share her rarely seen works (through January 10, 2022). Her rarely exhibited Japanese-influenced painting Moonlight on the Cooper River will also be on display at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston (April 30–October 3), and just might inspire a new generation of artists.