Cowboy Photographer: Erwin E Smith
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the Erwin E. Smith Collection
When Smith died in 1947, his half-sister Mary Alice Pettis became executor of his estate and preserved his original negatives and prints in a bank vault. Failing to find a home in Texas for the collection, she deposited many of the negatives with the Library of Congress, making them available to a wide audience. She retained several hundred negatives that were personal, but she always wished the entire collection could be reunited in Texas. In 1986 she bequeathed her collection of Smith's work, including the Library of Congress loan, to the Amon Carter Museum. The collection comprises over 2,000 negatives and more than 700 vintage prints, as well as Smith's papers and library.


Erwin E. Smith (1886–1947)
Erwin E. Smith and His Mount Overlooking the Country from a High Point on the JA Ranch, Texas, 1908
Nitrate negative
Erwin E. Smith Collection of the Library of Congress on deposit at the Amon Carter Museum
LC.S59.182
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Made possible through generosity of Erwin E Smith Foundation
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