Gordon Snidow

(CAA) (1936 - present)


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Gordon Snidow has been known as the foremost chronicler of the contemporary cowboy for over forty years. He is a leader in the development of the American Western Art Movement, and is one of America's outstanding fine artists. He paints the West not as he would like it to be, but the way it is - warts and all.

Gordon Snidow was born in Paris, Mo. in 1936 and grew up in Missouri, Texas, and Oklahoma, where he attended Tulsa’s Webster High School and Tulsa University.

“I remember my first art show in the second grade in Tulsa … Dad found a teacher to give me private lessons in Enid, Oklahoma, and enrolled me in the Famous Artists School. Then I discovered the Gilcrease Museum when I was twelve and I decided I wanted to be a cowboy artist.”

In 1959 he received a Bachelors Degree in Art from the Art Center College of Design, in Los Angeles. At this point rather than go into a career in advertising, he decided to follow his dreams of painting and chronicling his first hand experiences of the Contemporary West. It was important to Gordon to record the American West as he witnessed it. Being an eyewitness to a period of the history of the west, he portrayed real cowboys, working on real ranches and accurately showed their lives and times.

He eventually saw the West as more than ranching and the American Cowboy. Gordon began to do paintings which included American Women, Graffiti, the Homeless, Wildlife, Vietnam Vets, and others, while still painting the American Cowboy. Because of this, he is now better known as a painter of Western Americana and for over fifty years he has painted the Contemporary American West as it is, unvarnished.

Gordon is a member of the Cowboy Artists of America and before retiring, served in every office of the organization, including three times as President. He also co-founded and served on the first board of directors of the CA museum in Kerrville, Texas, where he is no longer a member.

He admits that he has been lucky in his career. Coors Brewery responded positively when he created the famous Coors Cowboy Collectors Series. This Series also appeared as part of the set design in such movies as “Rainman” and “Winter’s Bone”.

Gordon has garnered many awards and recognitions, such as the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. His work has been shown in galleries around the world and his paintings hang in the permanent collections of numerous museums. Retrospective shows have appeared in museums in New Mexico, Texas, and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Snidow currently resides in Ruidoso, N.M.