This exhibition is in honor of Wallace Herndon Smith and his admiration for architecture. Smith (1901-1990) is well known for his extensive career as an artist. Prior to his long life of painting, Smith studied architecture at both Princeton University and Washington University in St. Louis. He also spent a year studying in Paris.

Upon returning to St. Louis, Smith worked with Louis La Beaume’s architecture firm for five years, developing plans for several St. Louis houses until the late 1920s. As Smith transitioned from studying architecture to concentrate exclusively on painting, he was still drawn to the buildings around him. This exhibition spans years of Smith’s depictions of the structures he observed, as well as historic ruins in both the United States and Europe.

Also featured with Smith is contemporary sculptor, Paul Young. Young focuses on architecture, but through a different lens by examining the deterioration of old buildings. Young has spent years exploring St. Louis and the region’s back roads looking for old, abandoned buildings to reproduce in miniature. Working from photos, Young creates scaled models with hyper-realistic details of exterior and interior details.

Each artist renders everyday structures as monuments to human activity and purpose. Pairing them together opens different avenues to examining contrasts such as beauty and decay and the past and the present, and offers deep looks inside living spaces, as well as studies of facades.

Wallace Herndon Smith was born in St. Louis in 1901. He was a traditional painter and architect who worked with landscapes, interiors, and portraits. He left behind a substantial body of work that highlights his dedication to painting.

Paul Young is a local artist who explores the region looking for the perfect subject to recreate a hyper-realistic scaled version based on his photographs. Young has worked for over 30 years in St. Louis as an art handler, framer and installer for local artists and collectors.

Opening Night Reception, Friday, March 8 from 6-9 p.m.


The Sheldon’s exhibition series is supported by The Bellwether Foundation, Barbara and Arthur McDonnell and the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.