RODNEY SMITH (1947-2016)
Rodney Smith was born in New York City. Smith rejected the commercialism of his father, founder of Anne Klein and Pierre Cardin, to earn a Master’s degree in Theology from Yale University while studying photography under Walker Evans. In the late 1970’s, Smith began perfecting his technique and developing his style as he photographed a diverse mix of cultures around the world. By the mid-1990s, his editorial clients included The New York Times, W Magazine, Vanity Fair, Departures and New York Magazine and he photographed the advertising campaigns for Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Ralph Lauren and Paul Stuart, among others. After Smith’s death in 2016, his wife Leslie Smolan became Executive Director of The Estate of Rodney Smith, which is dedicated to preserving and sharing his archive with audiences around the world. Six books of Smith’s work have been produced, most recently including Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith, which was published by Getty Publications and written by Paul Martineau. This follows the J. Paul Getty Museum’s acquisition of ten Rodney Smith photographs for the museum’s permanent collection. Rodney Smith’s work is also included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, and the Princeton University Art Museum, among others.