Allen Smith, Jr., met with considerable success in the Midwest as a portraitist. He studied briefly with William D. Parisen (1800-1832) while attending the antique classes at the American Academy of Fine Arts in New York. Smith also attended the antique class of the National Academy of Design, where he won a prize in 1833. He exhibited at the National Academy of Design intermittently, 1832-42, and was an associate member, 1833-60. In 1835 he moved to Detroit, where his parents were living. In 1838 he was in Cincinnati and then again lived briefly in New York before settling in Cleveland about 1842. In 1882 he retired to the countryside.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Library, artist’s file, newspaper clippings § George C. Groce and David H. Wallace, The New-York Historical Society’s Dictionary of Artists in America, 1564-1860 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1957), p. 586, with bibliography § Arthur H. Gibson, comp., Artists of Early Michigan: A Biographical Dictionary of Artists Native to or Active in Michigan, 1701-1900 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1975), p. 214.