GIBBS, Ralston Snow

1883 - 1966

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA on 7 June 1883, youngest of the four children of welshman, George Francis Gibbs (1846-1924), who emigrated to America in 1857 as clerk to 'President' Brigham Young; and his first wife Ida (1854-1923), daughter of church apostle Lorenzo Snow and his wife Eleanor née Houtz. George and Ida married at Salt Lake on 21 May 1876 and had four children: 1) Georgia Winnetta Gibbs 14 August 1877-30 April 1878, 2) George Snow Gibbs born 14 March 1879, 3) Eleanor Snow Gibbs 4 May 1881-28 July 1881 and 4) Ralston Snow Gibbs born 7 June 1883. George, under Morman doctrine, took a second wife on 29 March 1884, 19 year old Sarah Emeline Worthen (1865-1921) and had a further eight children. In November 1886, a summons was issued for George to appear in court for 'unlawful cohabitation' under the terms of the Edmunds Act, which meant a prison term if convicted. As was the general practice, George could not be found to be served the summons, so did not appear at the trial and charges against him were dropped due to insufficient evidence, but about 1888 Ida obtained a civil divorce. Sometimes between 1900-1907 Ralston lived with his mother and brother George Snow Gibbs, at Precinct 39, Salt Lake City Ward 4, Utah. He commenced his art studies at the Salt Lake High School under Miss Mary Teasdel and at New York School of Art and, together with his mother Ida and brother George, travelled to Europe where Ralston studied at St Martin's Central School of Arts and Crafts, London and later at Ecole des Beaux Art, Paris (1907-1914), closing his studio in Paris shortly after the outbreak of World War One and returned to England. He made a passport application dated 28 September 1914 to enter France, in which he was described as an artist of 12 Torrington Square, London who left the USA on 25 October 1907 but he gives his birth as 'New York on 7 June 1884'. There is a report in the Utah 'Deseret Evening News' a Mormon newspaper of 25 May 1918, from Thurloe Square, London, when he describes his then current situation and a commission to paint portraits of Lord and Lady Camoys and their two children at Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames. His mother Ida, a writer of pamphlets on women's rights and who had remarried, died at Preston Village, Brighton, Sussex on 15 January and buried in London on 19 January 1923. Ralston married at Fulham, London in 1928, Nellie Violet Mary Woodward (1886-1971) and was a portrait and landscape painter under the name of Snow Gibbs. He exhibited between 1916-1932 from 5 Thurloe Square, London and was a member and exhibitor at the Ipswich Art Club 1932-1936 showing six items in 1932 from 404 Fulham Road, London SW6, 'Jersey Harbour', 'Rosemary', 'The Bend of the River', 'The Pond', 'St Ives' and 'The Canal', four in 1933 'The old Wind Mill', 'The Shrimp Woman', 'Granny in the Moonlight' and 'Granny's Cottage' and in 1935 two, but from 45 Queen's Gate Gardens, London SW7, 'Sky and Water' and 'The Church on the Hill'. He also exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; London Salon and the Royal Cambrian Academy. On 3 May 1939, Ralston became a British National (London Gazette 9 June) when described as an artist of 45 Queen's Gate Gardens, London. He died at Chelmsford, Essex in 1966, aged 83 and Nellie died at Southend, Essex in 1971. Sometimes they hyphenated their name to Snow-Gibbs. His great-niece is the American artist Gaile Snow Gibbs (born 4 August 1942), grand-daughter of George Snow Gibbs (14 March 1879-30 October 1942).












Works by This Painter