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Michael Snow (1930-2012)

Daniel Goddard writes about Michael Snow (1930-2012), an artist born in Manchester, who moved to St Ives in the 1950s.

Kenidjack (SS04/036) - oil on canvas, sold for £2,200.

Kenidjack (SS04/36) - oil on canvas, sold for £2,200.

The artist Michael Snow (1930-2012) describes painting as "a way to learn to see". Through the necessity of looking into nature in order to paint, the result is a deeper, clearer better understanding of the world. Snow describes painting and nature as a two-way street where understanding one, enlightens and informs the other. He calls his art 'additions to nature, not imitations of it'.

Michael Snow was born in Manchester in 1930 and moved to St Ives in the 1950s where he was elected to The Penwith Society of Arts. There he formed friendships with the group of influential artists who had settled in Cornwall including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, John Wells and Terry Frost.

While still up-north, Snow had visited a post-war exhibition of St Ives artists in Liverpool and saw paintings by Alexander Mackenzie (1923-2002) and it is the abstract-organic form of the work of Mackenzie that seems an early influence for Snow.

Mackenzie, like Snow, was a northerner who moved to Cornwall and became a teacher and art educator. By the 1970s, Snow's interest in nature included more scientific disciplines like mineralogy and cosmology. These interests formed an easy alliance between science and nature and this continued to inform Snow's art where investigating and understanding one, inspired the other.

Bearnes, Hampton & Littlewood in Exeter have a sold a variety of work by Snow in various mediums including sculpture. The titles for Snow's work reference location and nature like for example the oil on canvas Kenidjack (SS04/36) which is on the Cornish Coast within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and the drawing Sea Cliffs, Botallack (SS04/39) which are between St Ives and Land's End. The presence and activity of Nature and Form is referenced in the paintings Earth Slip (CC04/83) and Edge (CC04/86) and the Oval Forms (SS04/42) metal sculpture.

If you like these and would like to see more paintings by Michael Snow then look-out for our next 20th Century & Contemporary sale that will include a selection from a private collection.

Sea Cliffs, Botallack (SS04/39) - graphite drawing, sold for £320.

Sea Cliffs, Botallack (SS04/39) - graphite drawing, sold for £320.

Earth Slip (CC04/83) - oil on canvas, sold for £650.

Earth Slip (CC04/83) - oil on canvas, sold for £650.

Edge (CC04/86) - oil on canvas, sold for £1,400.

Edge (CC04/86) - oil on canvas, sold for £1,400.

Oval Forms (SS04/42) - metal sculpture, sold for £380.

Oval Forms (SS04/42) - metal sculpture, sold for £380.


  • Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
  • Michael Snow (1930-2012)

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About the Author

Daniel GoddardDaniel Goddard

Daniel Goddard is a Director of Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood. He is also Head of the Picture Department.

Daniel Goddard was educated at The Kings Grammar School, Ottery St Mary and The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He was commissioned in 1982 serving in Northern Ireland, The Falklands and Canada and in the 1990s completed an Open University degree in Art History and Humanities.

In 1988, he worked in Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand and attended The Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. On his return to East Devon, Daniel joined Lawrences in Crewkerne as a saleroom porter and progressed to valuation and rostrum work.

In 1996, Daniel joined Bearne's in Torquay to head the Works of Art Department and transferred to Head of the Picture Department in 2000. He continues to run this busy department in the merged firm of Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood.

Daniel Goddard has been a director of the firm since 1999 and is an experienced valuer and auctioneer with a good broad range of knowledge and specialist expertise in paintings. He was responsible for the organisation and cataloguing of the two major sales of paintings by Robert Lenkiewicz (1941-2002), which raised in excess of £3 million.