Bernard Brussel-Smith was born in New York City on March 1, 1914, and died on May 8, 1989. He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and the New School for Social Research, New York. Brussel-Smith was elected an Associate Member of the National Academy in 1952, and a Member in 1973. He taught at the Brooklyn Museum, Cooper Union, City College, and the National Academy.
Although Brussel-Smith spent most of his life in the New York area, and was widely known for his posters of the New York Auto Show in the 1950s and 60s, in 1957-58 he studied with Stanley William Hayter in Paris, developing a form of relief etching inspired by the process used by William Blake. Brussel-Smith, with his wife Mildred and son Peter, spent many summers from 1957 to 1980 in Collonges-la-Rouge, France. One-man exhibitions of work by Brussel-Smith include those at the Galerie St. Jacques, Collongesola-Rouge, France, 1969 and 1970; Musée Ernest-Rupin, Brive, France, 1976, the Olthuysen Ateliers, Rotterdam, Holland, 1978; the Maison de la Sirène, Collonges-la-Rouge, 1979; the Katonah Library, New York, and the Desert Museum, Palm Springs, California, 1980; the Galerie Maas, Rotterdam, 1981; and the Bethesda Art Gallery, Maryland, 1982. An extensive retrospective of his work was held at Fairleigh Dickinson University Library in Madison, New Jersey, in 1983.
In the summer of 1988 the Sterling Library of Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, exhibited work by Brussel-Smith to commemorate the donation by the artist of a substantial archive of prints and the great majority of his blocks and a show was held at Associated American Artists, NY. In 1989 memorial exhibitions were held at the Galerie St. Jacques, Collonges-la-Rouge, and the Susan Teller Gallery, NY. In addition to the large holdings of prints by Bernard Brussel-Smith at the Fairleigh Dickinson University Library and the Sterling Library of Yale University mentioned above, work by the artist is in the permanent collections of the Boston Museum, the New York Historical Society, the New York Public Library, and the National Academy of Design, New York; the National Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the Library of Congress, Washington, DC; the Hudson River Museum, Yonkers; the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota; the Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, Maine; the Philadephia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Free Library, Pennsylvania; the Oklahoma City Museum; the Boymans Museum, Rotterdam; and the Lenin Library, Moscow, Russia. From "Bernard Brussel-Smith, 1914-1989: A Memorial Exhibition." Susan Teller Gallery, 1989..