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Robert Royhl Smith ’71

January 12, 2022, in Bozeman, Montana.

Born in New York City, Robert grew up in Tucson, Arizona, which, along with the Sonoran Desert, became a major influence on his life and art. He graduated from high school and then studied at many schools across the country, including Reed. Robert graduated with both a bachelor’s degree and an MFA from the University of Arizona and began teaching at the Tucson Museum of Art School, where he influenced countless students.

After marrying Joanne Stuhr in 1982, he took a position at San Diego State, and his first daughter, Alexis, was born two years later. He moved to Bozeman, Montana, where he was a professor of art at Montana State University. He found great joy in the outdoors, particularly in the headwaters of the Missouri and at Yellowstone National Park. At the university he met his second wife, Gesine Janzen, and they had a daughter, Emeline, in 2006. Robert also gained a stepson, Henry Janzen, whom he loved and supported as his own.

Robert’s career as a painter, printer, and art professor spanned 50 years, during which time he collaborated with artists around the world and created a prolific body of work that was exhibited extensively, from Kyoto, Japan, to Willow Creek, Montana. He spent the last years of his life writing and self-publishing books on his artworks with vignettes from his vast wealth of experiences. Robert is survived by his wife, Gesine; his children, Alexis, Henry, and Emeline; and his brother, Peter.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2022

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