Hughie Lee-Smith

Hughie Lee-Smith, circa 1990

We are discovering Draper was a remarkable portraitist. He did some generic head-shot work, as many photographers do, but the portraits of his contemporaries–artists, writers, dancers, etc–stand out among the works we’ve been finding. Here are two images of the painter, Hughie Lee-Smith.

Lee-Smith (1915-1999) attended the Cleveland Institute of Art and moved to New York in 1958 (a year after Draper) to teach at the Art Students League, where he taught for 15 years. The earlier portrait is likely from the early 60s.

Hughie Lee-Smith, circa 1960

All this information is sourced from the Lee-Smith Wikipedia page, where it also notes, “In 1963 Lee-Smith became an associate member of the National Academy of Design, then the second African-American to be elected to the Academy.”


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