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Amanda Snyder

American, 1894-1980


Mountain City 1894




Portland 1980

Occupation or Type


Northwest artist

Oregon artist


Amanda Tester Snyder's family, which included her brother artist Jefferson Tester, moved from Tennessee to Oregon when she was nine years old. In 1916, at the age of twenty-two, she married and moved to Portland with her husband.

Snyder liked the rough texture of many layers of paint softened by scumbling, using that technique to great effect. In 1929 she met C.S. Price at one of his gallery shows. He later informed her that her work, especially the clowns and religious paintings, had something in common with the French painter Rouault. Snyder, who was not familiar with Rouault, had independently developed her use of heavy black outlines. She was, however, influenced by Charles Heaney, Price, and his circle. She made mannequins as models for her clown figures and sent one of these to Price. One can detect a wistfulness and sadness in her clown figures. Snyder also painted portraits and still lifes. Over the years her style changed from realistic through impressionistic to the increasingly abstract.

In discussing her work Snyder said, "My inspiration comes from shape and color. I see beauty and design in everyday things in my home and garden. My greatest pleasure is to produce paintings which communicate a love of simple life."

She had thirty-two one person shows, including two at the Portland Art Museum and three at Reed College. In 1954 Snyder exhibited with LaVerne Krause, LaVon Lucas, and Jolan Torak in a four woman show at the Kharouba Gallery in Portland.

Artist biography reproduced with permission from the authors, Oregon Painters: the First Hundred Years (1859-1959), Ginny Allen and Jody Klevit.



Related People

Associate of: LaVerne Erickson Krause (American, 1924-1987)

Associate of: C.S. Price (American, 1874-1950)

Sibling: Jefferson Tester (American, 1900-1972)

Associate of: Jolan Torak (Hungarian, active United States, 1962-?)

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