The Robert S. Smith Papers span the years 1947 through 1982 and document Smith's work as a commercial artist and art director for several advertising agencies, including Norman Craig and Kummel; and Ogilvy & Mather (O&M). The materials consist primarily of sketches; paintings; photographs and contact sheets; advertising layouts and proofs; storyboards for television commercials; and house advertisements for O&M. Clients include Consolidated Cigar (El Producto and La Palina brands); Diageo (Gilbey's liquors), DuBonnet; General Foods (Maxim coffee, Gaines dog food); IBM; Maidenform; Mars; Nabisco; Rand McNally; Ronson; Schenley Distillers (Melrose liquors); and Toro. Also included are a set of sketches, paintings and drawings, some signed, by the artist Paul Rand.
Robert S. Smith served as Art Director for several advertising agencies, including: William H. Weintraub and Co.; Norman Craig and Kummel; Ogilvy & Mather (O&M); Fletcher Richards; and Calkins and Holden. He designed advertisements for National Distillers, U.S. Rubber, Revlon, Ronson, Rand McNally, Newsweek, and Consolidated Cigar Corporation, among others. He also served on the Board of Directors for the Morris Junior Museum, preparing brochures, posters and slides for lectures; photographs for exhibits; and a public relations film strip. He was also an active member of the Art Director's Club of New York. An avid photographer, Smith's photographs were published by Gilbey's, IBM, the National Guard, Folkways Records. He was once awarded third prize in a New York World-Telegram & Sun child photography contest.
Materials are arranged into four series by size: Small Format, Medium Format, Large Format and Extra Large Format. Within these series, items were grouped into subseries by genre: Brochures, Photographs, Proofs and Tearsheets, Sketches and Miscellaneous. Brochures include booklet-style advertistements. Photographs include photographs and contact sheets for several campaigns, including Milky Way and Gilbey's (Gin and Vodka). Proofs and Tearsheets include advertising proofs intended for publication in newspapers and magazines, as well as magazine and newspaper tearsheets and photostats. Items were separated into glossy and newsprint materials. Sketches include pencil, charcoal and pastel drawings for ad campaigns, as well as collages of glued paper items.