Suddenly a widow, an artist returns to the South of France, to see if she can still paint, and reclaim the joy of her former life.
David Bruce Smith and Clarice Smith have been collaborating for more than 30 years.
David Bruce Smith is the founder of the Grateful American Foundation and co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize. He has also authored 13 books.
Clarice Smith is an internationally renowned artist who has exhibited her paintings all over the world.
Constance J. Milstein and the French-American Cultural Foundation are honored to reinforce the vibrant history of expatriate artists who were inspired by its beauty.
Praise for Souvenirs of the Riviera
Over thirty years ago, NMWA had the privilege of publishing Continuum, the first collaboration between author David Bruce Smith and painter Clarice Smith. I loved this reflection on Venice, and how mother and son worked together to seamlessly capture Clarice’s love for the beautiful city on the lagoon. I always hoped they would create more books like it, so when I saw Souvenirs of the Riviera, I was astonished and delighted. Once again, Clarice’s paintings and David’s choice of texts and excerpts from her letters, have brought her memories and creative spirit forward…to touch our souls.
— Susan Fisher Sterling
The Alice West Director, National Museum of Women in the Arts
“For more than two centuries, France and America have shared not only a robust democratic ideal, but also a mutual cultural attraction. The mutual influence of our two countries’ art, music, cuisine, and fashion can be traced throughout our respective histories.
Clarice Smith’s paintings are another vibrant chapter in that continuous exchange. Souvenirs of the Riviera visually transports us to that region of France legendary for its unique quality of light – a luminosity that has for generations been a beacon to artists, photographers, and fashion designers.
Technically accomplished and invitingly accessible, her work immerses the viewer in a realm suffused by vivid colors and glowing terrains, everyday activities and elegant encounters. I am certain you will enjoy Clarice’s imaginative, moving and reflective journey to one of France’s most famous and beautiful destinations. Souvenirs of the Riviera is a splendid collection of compositions that can be returned to again and again, as we join in her spirited appreciation of the eternally alluring Côte d’Azur.”
— Philippe Etienne, Ambassador of France to the United States
“Souvenirs of the Riviera is an elegant and beautiful book. It is also poetic and meaningful as the last collaboration between Clarice and David. Clarice’s oil paintings are dramatic and powerful and her watercolors, by contrast, subtle and graceful. They all evoke the elegance of the Riviera. Clarice will be truly missed.”
— Alex Nyerges, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
The paintings of Clarice Smith are a beautiful testimony to her extraordinary eye, talent, and vision. To travel through France with her is an enlightening and enjoyable and extremely rewarding experience. To have the words of her son, David Bruce Smith, accompanying these beautiful images, which have such a range of techniques and talent is truly an inspiration and a great example of that commitment to art and storytelling that David and Clarice Smith are so well known for. Clarice’s eye is one that the world misses, but we are delighted to have this piece of her talent to share forever.
— Douglas Bradburn, Ph. D. , President & CEO, George Washington’s Mount Vernon
“Souvenirs of the Riviera is a personal reflection on life’s beautiful moments, a collaboration, and a vibrant appreciation of living in France. As with many successful artistic statements, it leaves one thirsting for more dazzling paintings. The layout echoes Clarice’s sense of design; the cursive notes express both sadness and joy, of times well spent and remembered. There is universality in the words and images that is heartfelt and hopeful.”
— Lenore D. Miller, Curator Emerita, George Washington University Museum
“Souvenirs of the Riviera is the most recent fruit of a 30-year collaboration between writer David Bruce Smith and the late artist Clarice Smith. Mr. Smith’s poignant and moving text, punctuated by historic and literary references (Mr. Smith’s signature writing style), imparts to Ms. Smith’s vivid and resonant paintings the unique charm of an artistic imagination overlaid with painterly evidence of time and place.
Ms. Smith’s superb command of color and form bring the beauty of the Riviera to us, all the while Mr. Smith’s text tells a story of love and loss and finding solace in the familiar landscape of the South of France. A cat, magnificently drawn by Ms. Smith, “watches over” her as she longs for the husband she has lost, her imaginings so vivid, in Mr. Smith’s words, that she reaches out to touch his hand. Mr. Smith adds his wit to these wonderfully affective scenes, describing, in this case, Ms. Smith as so emotionally wrought over the vision she’s had of her husband standing next to her that she wishes she might indulge in a drink—but noting that it’s rather late, at her age, to pick up bad habits.
The paintings included in the book show the breadth of Ms. Smith’s work, demonstrating that she is equally at home in her paintings evoking the thunderclap of horses in dead heat as she is the delicate beauty of a flower. The book has recourse to the term, odyssey, and an odyssey it is, taking us on an eventful and adventurous journey to the lovely landscape, both peopled and pristine, of the magical French Riviera.”
— Louise Mirrer, President, New York Historical Society
“Souvenirs of the Riviera invites readers to share Clarice Smith’s experiences in the South of France, which are successfully executed by her deft use of light, color, form and mood of the people and places she chose to capture.
David Bruce Smith, her son, collaborated with his mother, and provides thoughtful insights. These personal impressions are punctuated by carefully chosen quotes from some of history’s and literature’s greats; a fitting tribute to Clarice, Souvenirs of the Riviera recalls her spirit and tenacity as she reclaimed her joie de vivre through her art.”
— Elizabeth von Hassell, Executive Director, The National Sporting Library and Museum, Middleburg, Virginia
“In this final collaboration of the multi faceted and renowned artist, Clarice Smith, her passions and intentions come alive through the eloquent and sensitive prose of David Smith, her son and author. With her brush and his words, Souvenirs of the Riviera, a treasured memoir has been created.”
— Alma Gildenhorn
“Souvenirs is a tribute to the Clarice Smith and her captivating art. This moving project realized by David Bruce Smith shows how, in translating the beauty of the south of France to the canvas, she addressed grief and found inspiration.”
— Dr. Márcia Balisciano, Director, Benjamin Franklin House
“An intimate glimpse of a poetic journey expressed with delicacy and strength. In Souvenirs of the Riviera, Clarice Smith’s subtle and restrained color harmonies capture the mood and elegance of a time gone by.”
— William Woodward, Painter
“Filled with decades of the magical and sparkling paintings of Clarice Smith, Souvenirs of the Riviera is a wonderful, warm, and touching tale that evokes–through the artist’s eyes–her return to a lost domain. A feast for the eyes and a joy to read!”
— Katherine Neville, Author
“The paintings of Clarice Smith provide an intimate and inspiring art journal that captures timeless scenes along the Riviera and reflections of a life, a love, and a place infused with the light of the Mediterranean Sea.”
— Marcee Craighill, Former Director and Curator, The Diplomatic Reception Rooms U.S. Department of State
Author: David Bruce Smith
Painter: Clarice Smith
Publisher: French-American Cultural Foundation
Publication date: February 28, 2022