Catherine Jeanette Smith, M.A.ED.



Gay Clyburn, “Catherine Jeanette Smith, M.A.ED.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 14, 2024,

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Catherine Jeanette Smith, M.A.ED.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Gay Clyburn




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Professor Emerita

Biographical Text

Professor Emerita of Art Catherine Jeanette Smith (August 29, 1901 - ), a retired art professor, was born in Plymouth, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Dennis Francis Smith (a surgeon). She was an only child and attended Wyoming Seminary, a boarding school in Plymouth. At the insistence of her stepfather, George Bryant, who was impressed with her artistic abilities, Miss Smith studied art at Syracuse University in New York. Miss Smith received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Oklahoma University, where she also taught before coming to Appalachian State Teachers College (now Appalachian State University) in 1941. She replaced Glenda Walker as "the art department" at Appalachian and was chairperson for 25 years. In 1957, Miss Smith was awarded a fellowship to study art at The Hague in the Netherlands, one of two students from the United States selected. She traveled extensively throughout Europe and to other continents, viewing firsthand the paintings she was able to bring to life in her classroom. She began teaching at Appalachian during World War II. Art was required for a major in education, and although most of her students had never held a paintbrush, Miss Smith was an inspiration. She taught every type of art course from art appreciation to drawing and painting. Some of her students went on to study art further and became artists in their own right. She believed that home economics majors should know something about cloth, so she taught the first weaving courses at Appalachian. She founded the first art club and was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. Miss Smith retired in 1966 after 25 years of opening doors for students, whether through the appreciation of art or through her generosity. Many students made it through Appalachian because of financial assistance from Miss Smith. On November 20, 1983, the gallery in Farthing Auditorium was named for her and dedicated the Catherine Smith Gallery. At the time of the dedication, a bust of Miss Smith was placed in the gallery with the inscription: "With loving persistence, she instilled an appreciation for the fine arts in her students." Miss Smith has supported Appalachian in many ways, not the least of which was her contribution as a founder of the Appalachian Cultural Center, located in University Hall and scheduled to open in 1986 as a museum, art gallery, exhibition hall, and center for the preservation and promotion of regional culture. Miss Smith has retired to the countryside near Boone and enjoys fine art, music, literature, and travel. Sources: Appalachian State University files and personal interviews. - Gay Clyburn

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