Carmi R. Smith was born on 19 May 1862. He died on 17 Jul 1938. Although alive at the time the painting was executed, it was likely painted after photographs, as the portrait was to have been a surprise to him.
An account book kept by Alten's daughter, Eleanore, notes that Mr. Merlin Wiley of the Dime Bank Building, Detroit, was billed in 1929 for this portrait in the amount of $350. Mr. Wiley may have been a Sigma Chi fraternity member as was Mr. Smith.
Dimensions are estimated based upon the fact that an Alten Portrait of Sigma Chi member Newman Miller (MIFP1496) 30" x 24" (also billed to Wiley) was presented at the same time as Mr. Smith's portrait. It is likely they were the same size, as the billing for Miller's portrait was also $350.
Mr. Carmi R. Smith of Niles, Mi was an 1886 graduate of Albion College. The bulletin noted below indicates that the portrait was presented by the Alpha Pi at Homecoming celebratons (apparently, November 2, 1929) The bulletin reads in part that "It is a sincere tribute to the loyal devotion of this Life Loyal Sig to Alpha Pi of Albion College"