A painter, decorator, and lecturer, Derk Smit was born in the Netherlands and lived most of his adult life in Chicago, Illinois. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago with Joseph Allworthy. He exhibited at the Navy Pier in 1939 and was President of D. Smith Interior Decorating Company of Chicago. Derk Smit died in 1985 at the age of 96. He was a member of the Hoosier Salon and won 6 awards there between 1953 and 1968. He was best known as a landscape painter. Smit’s most desirable paintings are those of Brown County, Indiana and of California, where he experimented with Plein-Aire landscapes with bold colors. He moved to California around 1953 but made trips back to Illinois and Indiana to paint.