McDonald Smith

McDonald Smith McDonald Graduated from the University of Texas at age 19 back in the hurried up days after World War II. What was a 19 year old to do with the rest of his life? He worked for two years as a chemist in Morton Milling Company in Dallas- He Went back to School at S.M.U. where he met the love of his life, Jean Turbeville, in Deforrest Judd's Life- Drawing class. They also studied painting with Otis Dozier. But McDonald shifted into the study of Medical Art, graduating with a Master's degree from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. After two years successfully practicing that profession at the University of Texas Medical School at Galveston where he co-authored published papers on aspects of Tissue Culture. He was awarded the Hoeckton Silver Medal for his work on an exhibit for the American Medical Association Meeting in New York. He then joined the army and was stationed for two years at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington D.C. Jean Turbeville and McDonald were married in the Foundry Methodist Church in Washington on March 4, the bride's birthday. Jean accepted the position of receptionist at the new building of the prestigious Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. She helped host President Eisenhower when he came to inaugurate the new A.F.I.P. building. It was a very active time as McDonald and Jean studied painting at the Corcoran Museum School from 7:00 to 10:00 pm every night for almost three years. Their first son, McDonald Jr. was born in Washington at the Walter Reed Army Hospital. Although successful in his Medical Art Career, he changed the direction of his life when he and his young family moved to Chicago where McDonald had been accepted as a Ph.D. student in Art History at the University of Chicago. He partially supported the family, other than with help from the G.I.Bill, by helping produce publications for the Navy Project housed at the University of Chicago. Their second son, Taliaferro Smith, was born during their Chicago years on December 12. After a year of study and research in Europe, the family settled in Waco where McDonald had been invited to join the Baylor University Art Department faculty as their Art Historian. After that year at Baylor, he accepted the position of Assistant Professor at Arizona State University. Their daughter Angela was born in Tempe, Arizona. In 1966 McDonald joined the faculty of the Art Department at the University of Texas at Austin where he taught for more than 35 years until his retirement in 1999 as Professor Emeritus. He was a frequent lecturer around the state, as well as in the Austin community. He specialized in the study of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art. He was the first faculty member at the University of Texas to offer an art history course in Europe. He became well known to dozens of students of all ages for their introduction to European art in the course of 20 years. After his retirement, he continued teaching courses for the University of Texas at Austin Continuing Education in Sage, conducting an occasional trip to Italy. The latest one took a group to Rome, Sicily, Naples, and the antiquities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae in the winter of 2006. McDonald is survived by his son, Taliaferro Smith of San Jose, CA; daughter, Angela Johannes of Austin, TX; grandson, Marcus Urban Barras of Austin, TX; granddaughter Amanda Rose Marie Smith of San Jose, CA. Memorial services will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 27, 2012 at Weed-Corley-Fish North Lamar Chapel, with a reception to follow the service He will be interred with Jean Smith at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Dallas at a later date. Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at


Funeral Home

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Homes & Cremation Services - Austin
3125 N Lamar Blvd. Austin, TX 78705
(512) 452-8811

Published in Austin American-Statesman on Dec. 23, 2012