Gordon E. Snidow, American (1936 - )

Gordon Snidow has been known as the foremost chronicler of the contemporary cowboy since 1959 when he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Art Center College of Design. At that time, he started his professional career.  He is a leader in the development of the American Western Art Movement.  He is a historian who records his time in pictures rather than words. In the future Snidow will be seen as Russell and other artists-in-their-time-chroniclers of the “Historic West is seen today.  Michael Duty wrote of him in his introduction of the Gordon Snidow retrospective show catalog “My Story”; “if one looks at his entire career, one can see that he has consistently broadened the definition of western art.”

In 2003 Gordon Snidow was honored with a retrospective show at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in which nearly 250,000 people attended.  In addition, he was honored with a retrospective show at the Hubbard Museum of the American West and the Cowboy Artists of America Museum.  His work can be found in the permanent collections of the leading western art museums including the Thomas Gilcrease Museum, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum, the Cowboy Artists of America Museum, the Cody Museum, and the Phoenix Art Museum. His work has been exhibited internationally in Russia, China, England, France, Germany, Taiwan, and Canada.

Gordon Snidow is recording other aspects of his time.  Those include his American Woman Series, Homeless, Wildlife, and one specific work recognizable anywhere in the country today-an adobe wall covered with graffiti.  All are parts of his view of the “whole fabric” of the modern West. He paints it not as he would like it to be, but the way it is. He is the creator of the famous Coors Cowboy Collectors Series.  His work has graced more than 50 magazine covers.  There are no guarantees for the future of the cowboy, but there is for his past. Thanks to Gordon Snidow, the cowboy in the late 20th century, and his world will be preserved.

Gordon Snidow was a Charter and Emeritus member of the Cowboy Artists of America.  In 1988, when he took Emeritus membership he had won twenty-seven gold and silver medals, a Colt award, and three Best of Shows in CAA competition.  In 1998 he was awarded the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.  In 2003 he was honored with a Memorial, by the New Mexico Legislature.  The British Broadcasting Company produced a film about Gordon Snidow, two books have been written about him and his work, and a video was produced showing his retrospective shows.

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