Vernon Smith, a talk by Dr. Edith Tonelli

May 23rd at Cape Cod Art Center
Dr. Edith Tonelli (Courtesy photo)

As part of its ongoing 70th anniversary events, the Cape Cod Art Center will be hosting an informative talk on artist Vernon Smith, one of CCAC’s founding members and a significant figure in the history of art on Cape Cod. The talk will be presented on May 23 at 12 noon by Dr. Edith A. Tonelli who studied and researched Vernon Smith’s work while writing her Doctoral thesis, “The Massachusetts Federal Art Project: A Case Study in Government Support for Art.” The talk is free and open to the public.


Born in Cortland, N.Y. Vernon Smith (1894-1969), studied art in New York and Paris. One summer, he came to Provincetown drawn by the growing art community. There he studied with Charles Hawthorne, the founder of the Provincetown School of Art. During the Depression Years, he worked for WPA’s Federal Art Project as Supervisor for the Cape and Southeastern Massachusetts. His art, consisting of paintings, sculpture, bas-relief woodcarvings and decorative arts, has been celebrated on the Cape with major exhibitions at both the Provincetown and Cape Cod Museums of Art. His work is also represented in many other museums and private collections.


Vernon Smith was a key player in forming the Cape Cod Art Association (now the Cape Cod Art Center) and served as its first Secretary and second President. The handwritten notes he took during the first year of the Association’s existence are a valuable resource for its history.


Dr. Edith A. Tonelli has been working in the visual arts for over 30 years. She was trained originally for her Master's degree at Hunter College in New York, in European painting techniques, ink brush drawing, and the Japanese woodblock printmaking process. She finished her Ph.D. at Boston University, focusing on American Art and Artisanry.


The Cape Cod Art Center is located at 3480 Route 6A, Barnstable.  For more information, visit  or call (508) 362-2909 welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on