Ned Smith figure in PA conservation

Ned Smith

October 9, 1919 - April 22, 1985

E. Stanley “Ned” Smith was born in Millersburg, Pennsylvania to parents who fostered his passion for nature from a very young age. His father had a love for botany while his mother was an avid birder. Ned flourished as a successful wildlife artist before he even graduated from high school. In the span of a 46-year long career, he created thousands of beautiful and accurate illustrations of wildlife for publications, magazines and books, even illustrating the state’s first ever duck stamp.

Upon graduating high school, he married his childhood sweetheart, Marie Reynolds, and took a job as a lathe operator in a machine shop, which gave him and Marie a steady income. In Ned’s spare time, he continued to go out into the field observing nature and honing his artistic abilities even further. In 1939, he sold his very first commercial illustration, the cover art for Pennsylvania Angler magazine, and accepted a full-time illustrator position for Samworth Publishing soon after. The new position took him and Marie to South Carolina for a year, with Ned illustrating some of the books that Samworth published.

Ned and Marie returned to Pennsylvania, and Ned took a job as a staff illustrator for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, a move that began a lifelong association with the wildlife agency. Throughout his career at the Game Commission, he illustrated almost 120 cover paintings for the commission’s magazine, the Pennsylvania Game News, and in the 1960s, started his own monthly column, titled Gone for the Day. His monthly column became very popular, and included a diary-like account of various plants and animals he encountered in the wild. His column ran for 4 years, and in 1971, the column was republished in book form and remains a classic for Pennsylvania nature writing.

Ned left the Game Commission to become a full-time freelance artist, yet the agency still remained a major client of his. His writings and illustrations got published in various magazines and books, including National Geographic, Pennsylvania Angler, National Wildlife, and various prints for the Game Commission, with some of them becoming limited editions. He enjoyed a fruitful career and marriage, his wife Marie being his business partner, fishing, camping and birding companion. He battled with heart disease for many years, passing away from a heart attack in 1985.

After his death, Marie wanted to form an institution to house his extensive works of art. Her dream became a reality with the creation of the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art (, located in Millersburg, which uses all of Ned’s works and various interests to connect nature with art.