An award-winning photograph by late Fort Worth Commercial Photographer Gordon Smith depicting what is likely Noble Planetarium will be on display this weekend at the Dolly Johnson Antiques and Art Show at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth. The W. D. Smith Company of Fort Worth was the city’s leading commercial photography firm during the last half of the 20th century.
The work entitled Curves was given a Gold Award by the Southwestern Photographers Association in 1955 during its 28th Annual Convention at the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth.
Gordon’s father, W. D. Smith, began work as a professional photographer in Fort Worth in 1927. Gordon joined him as partner in the business in the 1940s and helped secure the firm’s reputation. Gordon Smith was also a pilot and helped build a robust business in aerial photography.
Aerial views of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, as well as many other photographs by the artists are held by the University of Texas at Arlington.
Works by W.D. Smith on display at the show are titled Carburator and Engraver.
Also on display will be a photograph by William Rau whose work is in the collection of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Most known for his landscapes along the Pennsylvania Railroad, Rau also photographed sites in the American West and in Egypt. Rau was also the official photographer for the St. Louis Exposition of 1904 and the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition in Portland, Oregon.
Employed as a photographer for the United States government, Rau also traveled around the world to observe the transit of the planet Venus as it passed in front of the sun. Rau would later develop the photographs that documented Robert Peary’s journey to the North Pole.
In the 1890’s Rau was a prolific maker of stereoviews released under his name as well as Griffith and Griffith, Universal View Company, and Montgomery Ward & Co.
The print on display depicts President William McKinley in Philadelphia with the Washington Monument. The monument now stands in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Work by William Rau is currently on display at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Altoona, Pennsylvania. William H. Rau: Panorama Portraits of Travel runs through May 7.