Gertrude Snider was born in Waterloo, Ontario, and moved with her patents to Victoria at the age of seven.
Educated in Victoria, Seattle and New York she studied art and related subjects at the Clapham School of
Art, London and in Canada and the United States. Snider was also a student of Eliot O’Hara and A.Y.Jackson.
Following a six-month Artists’ Tour of Europe, Morocco and Algeria, she returned to Victoria in 1932 and the
same year joined the Island Arts and Crafts Society, serving on the Society’s executive committee and
becoming a regular exhibitor at the annual shows, 1932-38. Following the decline of the Society’s fortunes in
the 1940s, she joined with other sponsors in pursuit of an art gallery for Victoria, an original aim of the
Society. After the opening of the Little Centre in 1946, disillusioned with “ its preoccupation with modern art,”
she tried in 1949, without success, to open a gallery of her own to accommodate a wider range of artists,
including the diminishing group of Society members, largely traditional in their painting styles and in danger of
being eclipsed by the “modern trends”.
Interestingly, Snider herself was versatile in her own painting techniques, and her work suggests that she was
quite comfortable in employing aspects of impressionism.
She joined the Victoria Sketch Club, now the successor to the former Society, in the 1950s, and quickly made
her mark. She served as secretary from 1957 to 1959, playing a significant role in organizing the
Club’s golden jubilee exhibition in 1959, and consolidating the Club’s close ties with Colin Graham, the
Curator of the Art Gallery.
June 1959 two of her landscapes were accepted by the California invitational “Del-Art” annual show, an
exhibition of the best watercolour techniques in North America. In December of the same year, her solo
exhibition at The Apollo Art Galleries in Victoria featured some 160 watercolour and oil studies.
Portrait of Gertrude Snider,
Royal Museum of British Columbia Archives, F-9351
1912 - 2001
Past Notable Members