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Carlyle Smith

Carlyle H. Smith was born August 4th, 1912 in Torrington, Conn. His father owned a paint store and his family manufactured paint in the early days.

Carlyle Smith graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 1931. From 1931 to 1936, he apprenticed with Master Craftsman, Augustus F. Rose.

Smith found employment with the public school at Providence, R.I. in the 1930s and in the Princeton New Jersey public schools through the early 1940s.

Smith taught metals during the metal shortage of World War II by having his students use large tin cans for their projects. Toward the end of the war, Smith supervised the training program for the American Optical Co., which was doing naval contract work for eyeglasses.

Smith studied metals in 1947/48 for instructor William Bennett at the Handy and Harmon Workshop, Sheffield College of Art.

Smithís big career change came in 1947when he was invited by the University of Kansas Design Department chairperson, Marjorie Whitney, to set up a program in jewelry and silversmithing. It was the first program of its kind at a public university.

Smithís work is in major collections such as the Boston Museum of Fine arts, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian and his personal papers are included in the Archives of the American Art at the Smithsonian.

Among his works in silversmithing during his tenure at KU were the chancellorís collar and mace during the graduation ceremonies. The Carlyle H. Smith Metalsmithing and Jewelry Studio classroom was named in his honor when he retired in 1977. He continued to make jewelry and exhibit until he was 90.

Carlyle H. Smith died November 4th, 2004 at the age of 92.