February 3, 1915
|Died||August 5, 2005
New York City, New York
|Occupation||Stage, film actress|
|Children||Kiki Smith, Seton Smith, Beatrice (Bebe) Smith Robinson|
Jane Lawrence Smith (February 3, 1915 – August 5, 2005), born Jane Brotherton, was an American actress and opera singer who was part of the New York art scene beginning in the 1950s.
Life and work
In 1943 she, created the small role of Gertie in Oklahoma! on Broadway. The same year, she married Tony Smith, an architect who later achieved fame as a minimalist sculptor. Her close friend Tennessee Williams was best man at her wedding. The Smiths became the parents of three daughters, Kiki Smith, Seton Smith and Beatrice (Bebe) Smith Robinson (herself married to the painter and art critic Walter Robinson, before she died from AIDS).
Ms. Smith was one of the last survivors of the central circle of Abstract Expressionist artists and companions who came to the fore in New York in the 1940s and '50s. Her husband was close to Jackson Pollock and Barnett Newman, and she was the subject of one of Pollock's late black-and-white paintings, No. 7 (1952), now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Two of her daughters, Kiki Smith and Seton Smith, are artists, adding to her prominence in the art world. After her husband's death, in 1980, she resumed her acting career, this time in avant-garde theater, and worked with the directors John Jesurun, Joan Jonas and Marianne Weems. She performed the lead role in the no wave opera XS: The Opera Opus (1984-6) that was created by composer Rhys Chatham and artist Joseph Nechvatal.
- Oklahoma! (1943) as Gertie Cummings (opening night cast)
- Inside U.S.A. (1948) in multiple roles (opening night cast)
- Where's Charley? (1948) as Donna Lucia D'Alvadorez (opening night cast)