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Gerald L.K. Smith negatives

 Collection — Folder: 1
Call Number: RH WL PH 1


A series of black and white negatives of Gerald L. K. Smith and his Passion Play project in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.


  • Creation: approximately 1960s or 1970s

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Gerald L.K. Smith (1898-1976)

Gerald L. K. Smith was an anti-communist, anti-Semitic clergyman and political organizer originally from Pardeeville, Wisconsin. Born in 1898, his family moved to Shreveport, Lousiana where his father served as a minister, making broadcasts attacking local utility companies and the wealthy while supporting trade unions. Smith graduated from Valparaiso University in Indiana in 1918 with a degree in biblical studies and thereafter served as a minister with churches in WIsconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.

Smith met Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long in 1929 and organized with him during the Great Depression, when Long launched the Share Our Wealth society as part of a planned presidential race bid. After Long's assination in 1935, at which Smith was present, Smith ran the Society and began to steer the society towards white supremeacy as Nazi Germany rose to power.

Smith attempted to run for political office from 1936 through the 1950s. In an attempt for the presidential bid, he won 1,781 votes in the 1944 presidential election.

Smith began publishing various magazines and became a Holocaust denier in 1959. He founded several organizations to fight against communism, liberalism, Jews and Catholics, etc., including of note the Committee of One Million, the American First Party, the Christian Nationalist Party, and the Christian Nationalist Crusade.

In 1964, Smith moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas and began renovating a mansion and working on a Passion Play performed in a local amphitheater under the Christ of the Ozarks statue he commissioned. A Bible museum and sacred arts scenter are also located on land near the statue, and the passion play continues to be performed.

Smith married Elna F. Smith in 1922, with whom he adopted one son, Gerald L. K. Smith, Jr. He named his foundation to create the Five Sacred Projects at Eureka Springs after his wife. Gerald L. K. Smith died at age 78 on April 15, 1976. He is burried under the Christ of the Ozarks statue.

[Information retrieved from Gerald L.K. Smith's obituary in the New York Times on April 16, 1976 and from Jeansonne, Glen and Michael Gauger, "Gerald Lyman Kenneth Smith (1898-1976," Enclyclopedia of Arkansas,]


1 folder ; Folder measures 22 x 37 cm.

Language of Materials


Physical Location


Related Materials

Several of Smith's publications are available at the Spencer Research Library; consult the library catalog for more information.

Guide to the Gerald L. K. Smith Negatives Collection
Gerald L.K. Smith negatives
Finding aid prepared by gem. Finding aid encoded by gem.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Gerald L. K. Smith negatives, RH WL PH 1, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States