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1938 Drawing
1943-05 Love S. Stories
1938 Drawing
1947 Father's Portrait
1941-05 Love S. Stories
1950 Self Portrait
1941-08 Love S. Stories
1960 Cityscape
1942-03 Love S. Stories
1970 Cityscape
1942-07 Love S. Stories
1980 Cityscape











Eunice Camille Hatfield was born June 6, 1911 in Mamaroneck, New York. Her father, Ernest Hatfield, was born in 1890 in NY. Her mother, Gertrude Murden, was born in 1891 in Connecticut. Her parents married in 1910 and had two children, Eunice (b.1911), and Robert (b.1917). The family lived at 1 Fulton Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY. The father was a real estate insurance salesman.

In 1913 the father founded the Ernest I. Hatfield Insurance Company at 46 Cannon Street in Poughkeepsie.

In 1926 the father was elected Poughkeepsie Town Alderman. For the rest of his life he continued to pursue a dual career in both insurance and NY State Republican party politics.

In 1927 Eunice Hatfield attended Poughkeepsie High School.

In 1929 she left Poughkeepsie to attend Northfield Seminary School for Young Women in East Northfield, Massachusetts, a prestigious girl's boarding school, from which she graduated in June of 1930.

In September of 1930 she began to attend Syracuse University, where she majored in the Department of Fine Art. Some of the other art students who attended that school at that same time were Tom Lovell (Class of 1931), Harry Anderson (Class of 1931), Elton Fax (Class of 1931), and George Lee Trimm (Class of 1934).

While attending Syracuse University, Eunice Hatfield met and fell in love with a business school student, John C. Smith (Class of 1931). He was born January 4, 1910 in New York.

In 1932 the father of Eunice Hatfield was elected Representative to the New York State Senate in Albany.

In the Summer of 1933 Eunice Hatfield won top awards in several categories of the Dutchess County Art Fair, for which she received praise in local newspapers.

In June of 1934 Eunice Hatfield graduated from Syracuse University, Department of Fine Art, with a BFA. According to the artist, "1934 was a bad time for being a painter. You couldn't get a job riding an elevator! But my parents were supportive and they built me a studio in the attic of my father's office building. My father was a publicity hound, so he announced the opening in the paper. Undaunted, I decided to swish around. So I had a show and invited anyone who was anyone in Poughkeepsie. Luckily there were a few culture vultures who commissioned a few portraits."

Her neighbors included the artist H. W. Kiemle, who also had a an art studio in Poughkeepsie at 123 West Arnold Road. Another pulp artist, A. Leslie Ross, lived nearby in his summer home in Poughquag, NY.

In 1935 Eunice Hatfield studied in NYC at the Art Students League, which is located at 215 West 57th Street. Her most important teacher was John Sloan (1871-1951). He was a radical pioneer of Social Realism and a founding member of "The Group of Eight." He was also the author of the inspiring book, "Gist of Art." John Sloan was among the most influential art teachers in 20th century America.

The winter months in Poughkeepsie can be severely cold, so Eunice Hatfield spent the snowy months in Chatham, New Jersey, where she had a second studio for portrait painting.

In 1936 Eunice Hatfield painted a posthumous portrait of Reverend Father Salvatore Realbuto for the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Poughkeepsie.

In the summer of 1937 she visited Europe.

In February of 1938 she exhibited pastel portraits at The New Jersey Gallery in Newark, NJ.

On October 24, 1939 Eunice Camille Hatfield married her college sweetheart, John C. Smith. Their wedding ceremony was performed in her family summer home, Crum Elbow, in Hyde Park, NY. The married couple lived in the artist's studio at 46 Cannon Street in Poughkeepsie. The artist then became known as "Eunice Hatfield-Smith."

John C. Smith was employed as the General Manager of the Poughkeepsie Amrita Club, an elite gentlemen's club in a landmark building at Church and Market Streets. After a few years he became an insurance salesman at his father-in-laws company.

By 1940 her younger brother, Robert Hatfield, had finished college and began to work as a newspaper reporter. Eventually he also worked for the father's insurance company.

During WWII as the nation mobilized, women were patriotically encouraged to enter the workforce and replace drafted men. Eunice Hatfield-Smith began to paint cover illustrations for romantic pulp magazines, such as Love Short Stories and Love Book. According to the artist, "I was good enough to associate with the boys, but always at the bottom."

In 1942 the artist had her first child, Anthony Smith (b.1942), and one year later her second child was born, James Smith (b.1943). According to the artist, "Once the children came along I left commercial illustration."

After the war she taught art classes in the adult education program of the Arlington Central School District.

In 1956 her father, Ernest Hatfield, was elected Republican State Senator of New York.

In 1961 her portraits and landscapes were exhibited at the Bethlehem Art Gallery, on Jackson Avenue in Bethlehem, NY. This gallery also exhibited the works of John Fleming Gould and A. Leslie Ross.

In June of 1962 the Town of Poughkeepsie held a Fourth of July Poster Contest, for which Eunice Hatfield-Smith was one of four judges, along with, A. Leslie Ross.

In 1962 a selection of her cityscapes was exhibited in the New Paltz Art Gallery.

The artist also worked as a secretary at her father's business, the Ernest I. Hatfield Insurance Company, where the artist's husband and brother were also employed. Eventually the artist's brother became the President of the company.

On September 1, 1973 her husband, John C. Smith, died at the age of sixty-three.

On March 12, 1977 both parents of Eunice Hatfield-Smith died in an automobile accident. The father was eighty-seven and the mother was eighty-six.

In 1978 Eunice Hatfield-Smith was appointed Curator of the Dutchess County Historical Society.

In 1980 she had a retrospective at the Mid-Hudson Arts and Science Center in Poughkeepsie. According to local journalist Catherine R. Sand, "Eunice Hatfield-Smith is a cultured, sharp-minded woman with an intense sense of personal and local history. She has charm and determination. A witty, rambling, often sarcastic conversationalist."

According to the artist, "People ask me if I have a special love for downtown Poughkeepsie. Nope. Not at all. It's a subject with good space to do it in. What's the matter with being a biochemist or a space engineer? Nothing at all. But I was always hanging around with arty people. And it was not frowned upon by my parents. My family roots are good old American farmers, but my grandmother owned a painting by Gilbert Stuart."

Eunice Hatfield Smith died at the age of seventy-three in Hyde Park, NY, on May 14, 1985.

One year after her death, Marist College mounted a commemorative exhibition of her paintings of local cityscapes. The show was sponsored by the Regional History Program at Marist College.

In 2006 the Cunneen-Hackett Cultural Center Art Gallery in Poughkeepsie, at 12 Vassar Street, exhibited "Forgotten Treasures - The Work of Eunice Hatfield Smith."

                               © David Saunders 2017

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