What Became of Dr. Smith 

Project: Editorial Management of Publication

Client: Mississippi Museum of Art

Published by Mississippi Museum of Art, 2024

96pp; gatefold of artwork; 139 full-color images

Megan Hines, PhD, editor; contributions by Noah Saterstrom, Amy Forbes, PhD, and Patrick Hopkins, PhD; Timothy Hyman, RA; and Ann Patchett

Noah Saterstrom grew up aware of a mystery in his family’s story: no living relatives knew what had happened to his great-grandfather Dr. David Lawson (D.L.) Lemmon Smith, an optometrist who lived in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and disappeared in the 1920s. Through years of research, Saterstrom discovered that Dr. Smith was hospitalized in 1925 at the Mississippi State Insane Hospital in Jackson and was moved to the Mississippi State Hospital at Whitfield, where he lived until his death in 1965. Saterstrom tells his great-grandfather’s story in the panoramic What Became of Dr. Smith (2023), a 122-foot-long painting comprised of 183 canvases. This catalogue examines Saterstrom’s artistic process, the history of the Old Asylum, and the history of narrative painting going back to the Italian Renaissance.