Oil on canvas, 11.5 x 17.25 inches/Signed lower right
Snyder was born in Liberty, Indiana, but the family moved to Madison, Indiana when he was five. Snyder’s father, a minister, served as a chaplain in the Union army during the Civil War and twelve-year old William accompanied him to serve as a drummer boy. After the war, Snyder took art lesson; first from his father, then from Hudson River school artists Albert Bierstadt, Charles Warren Eaton, William Morris Hunt and George Innes in New York. He returned to Indiana, and spent time in Brown County, where a flourishing art colony would develop circa 1907. Snyder was living at Moore’s Hill when he met and wed Alena Belle Rodocker. The panic of 1873 and the ensuing economic hardship forced the newly-weds to move in with Snyder’s father in Madison, where they would live until their deaths. One of the first Brown County artists, Snyder was to become known for his landscape paintings of southern Indiana Beech trees. Art critics of the day said of his work “each leaf in his picture of the forest is as carefully done as the trunk of the tree. His work is always true to nature and is wonderfully pleasing." He signed his work “W.M. Snyder” but in the 1890s he began to use “W. McK.” Mr. Snyder was a member of the Wonderland Way Art Club in New Albany, Indiana and painted occasionally with James L. Russell who was the President and founder of the Wonderland Way artist community. Snyder exhibited widely throughout the Indiana and Ohio region.