ROBERT BORLASE SMART

Robert Borlase Smart RBA, ROI, RBC, RWA, SMA

Borlase Smart was one of the great artists of the St Ives School. He is particularly known for his landscapes in oil.
Borlase Smart studied Art under F. Snell in 1896 and then at Plymouth College of Art under Shelley in 1897. He obtained an Art Teacher's Certificate with First Class Honours at South Kensington in 1901.
From 1903- 1913, Smart was the art critic with the Western Morning News.
He contributed sketches of naval craft to the Naval and Military Record.
His first Royal Academy exhibit was MOONLIGHT ON THE CORNISH RIVIERA in 1912.
He came to St Ives to study under Julius Olsson. When the war started, he served variously abroad, creating a series of pictures based on his experiences.
In 1917 he marred Irene Godson, the daughter of his platoon sergeant who had been killed in action. In 1919, after demob, they settled in St Ives.
Smart soon became heavily involved in the life of the town, serving on various committees and forming the Sea Scouts.
He ensured that the art world received full coverage in the local press.
He was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists in 1919 and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1922.
He had a total of 22 works at the Royal Academy. Two of these are now in the Royal institution of Cornwall, Truro.
The Smarts moved to Salcombe in 1924 and returned to St Ives in 1928, by which time the St Ives Society of Artists had been formed. He was immediately a member and was on the committee in the following year. He became one of the great driving forces of the St Ives Society of Artists.. "He was brimming with ideas and the vast majority of the resolutions considered by the committee were proposed by him.. His objective was to make Art and the pursuit of art in Cornwall a living and vital thing."
In 1933 Smart became the Society secretary and it was he who instigated the great touring shows
In 1931 he was elected to the Royal British Colonial Society of Artists and in 1932  to the Royal West of England Academy.
From the early 1930s he spent part of every summer in Scotland.
The Second World War found Smart with the home guard and later with a commission in the 14th battalion.
Smart was behind the opening of the old Mariners' Chapel as an Art gallery when war ended.
Smart was renowned for his generosity and consideration of others.
Penwith Society of Arts in Cornwall was founded as a tribute to him.
LITERATURE:
ST IVES: PORTRAIT OF AN ART COLONY by MARION WHYBROW   (31 references in the index)
CREATING A SPLASH: THE ST IVES SOCIETY OFA RTISTS, THE FIRST 25 YEARS by David Tovey. Many references . Biography p.169ff
The above information was taken from this book.