A premier American painter, sculptor, lithographer and illustrator of the twentieth century, Lawrence Beall Smith studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the University of Chicago (PH.D.., 1931) as well as under Harold Zimmerman and Charles Hopkinson, in Boston. Smith began exhibiting his art in 1935 and gained a strong national reputation by 1941 when a one-man exhibition of his art was launched at the Whitney Museum in New York. During World War II he created posters for the war effort and was an artist for the D-Day landings in Normandy.
Throughout the following years, Smith's art figured prominently in most major exhibitions, including those of the prestigious National Academy. Besides his paintings and sculptures in stone, Lawrence Beall Smith was also a highly gifted lithographic artist and illustrator. In this latter category, he illustrated such fine books as Robin Hood (1954) and Tom Jones (1964). Today examples of his original lithographs, paintings and sculpture are included in the permanent collections of such major galleries as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, the University of Chicago, and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Children are a major theme in Smith's lithographic art. From 1940 to around 1970 he was commissioned many times by the Associated American Artists of New York for his delightful lithographs upon this subject.