ARTstor celebrates the life and work of Caleb Smith, Director of the Media Center of Art History at Columbia University, who passed away suddenly on February 11, 2013 at the young age of 42. He was a generous and kind friend, colleague, and scholar.
The content of the ARTstor Digital Library is richer thanks to Caleb’s hard work. In 2010, Caleb led an ARTstor-sponsored campaign to Japan, which I was privileged to take part in. There, with guidance and help from experts, Caleb and his team photographed ancient castles and temples in and around Kyoto and modern architecture in Tokyo. This trip yielded nearly 1,200 still images and over 200 QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) panoramas. A similar trip to Chicago the previous year yielded images and QTVRs of the city’s great architectural works by Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, and HH Richardson, among others.
Caleb was a native of New Mexico but loved and celebrated his adopted city of New York. In 2004, he completed a year’s long project to walk every block in New York City. Along the way, he documented parts of the city that tourists and locals alike might miss: from boot scrapers to the remains of Seneca Village, from coal winches to the remains of the White Star Pier. These images and more can be found in his website, New York City Walk. Caleb taught summer courses at Columbia University on the history and architecture of New York City and he contributed to the Encyclopedia of New York City. His photographs are included in the collection of the New-York Historical Society.
Caleb will be deeply missed by his family and friends, as well as his colleagues and students. Condolences can be sent to his partner Subhashini Kaligotla and/or his father Warren Smith in care of The Department of Art History, Columbia University, 826 Schermerhorn Hall, 1190 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027.