A riveting account of the Baltimore-born painter (1885-1968) who went from golden girl of the art world to an insane asylum patient and back to glory in the 1940s when she was called "a phenomenon in the world of paint" by American Artist magazine. 

"Congratulations on bringing forward a fascinating but overlooked person."

Townsend Ludington, Marsden Hartley: Portrait of an American Artist


"With 35 years as an archivist, I found the general background material about people, places, and the times fascinating in their own right and provide context. Highly readable...when I reached the last chapter, I was sorry it had to end."

Catherine Gaines, Supervisory Archivist, Smithsonian, Archives of American Art

"Sparhawk-Jones' career speaks of incisive talent and vision, perilous fragility, and the possibly of healing."

Philip Koch, MICA faculty and painter


MV magazine
AVALON Spring 2011
Fine Arts


As a feature writer specializing in health, history, and the arts, Barbara Lehman Smith has written for various mediums during her career including:


Promoting the Sparhawk-Jones biography, Smith presented at various speaking events during the book tour including:

  • "Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones: Painting on the Pulse." Lecture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Art-at-Lunch Lecture Series, Philadelphia, PA.

  • "Research and Biography." Panelist at the New Jersey Book Festival, Morristown, NJ.

  • "Searching for Elizabeth." Lecture at the Canton Public Library Lecture Series in Canton, MA.

  • "Search for Elizabeth Sparhawk-Jones." Radio Interview on WYPR Radio, Maryland Mornings with Sheila Kast by Tom Hall

  • Meet the Author event during Baltimore Book Festival.

The Magic of Dead Things: 

Debut Novel

Coming Soon


Evoking the world of the modern biographer, four dissimilar writers delve into the lives of two fascinating women in the first wave of feminism and gradually succumb to the influence of their subjects. As the writers' paths intersect, boundaries shift between past and present, and they are forced to untangle coincidence from destiny, truth from perception, and immersion from addiction before anyone's story can be told, even their own.

"We lack the courage to be where we are:

    We love too much to travel on old roads.

To triumph on old fields; We love too much

   To consecrate the

magic of dead things."


Edwin Arlington Robinson

from Octaves 

Cho Seward Cover.png


Through SMITH PUBLICATIONS, LLC, her marketing communications business, Barbara Lehman Smith's portfolio includes projects ranging from full-scale branding, publication writing and design, to website and social media management, and data analysis for various clients. She also has written scripts for TV commercials.

During the summer season, Smith's marketing efforts support the bustling literary community on Martha's Vineyard by coordinating and promoting author events for the island's iconic Bunch of Grapes Author Series as well as assisting the Martha's Vineyard Annual Book Festival. She has had the fortune to assist such authors as Alexandra Fuller, Evgenia Citkowitz, Cynthia Riggs, David Sedaris, Cecile Richards, and David McCullough.