For more than forty years, Tom Ryan has painted the contemporary cowboy. His paintings capture a way of life unique to the time and place, yet universal to those on horseback who tend cattle.
Tom was born in Springfield, Illinois, in 1922, one of nine children. His father owned a stable, so young Tom was riding, and drawing horses, by the time he was 7. After high school, he attended the St. Louis School of Fine Art and served in the Coast Guard. After WW II, Tom studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and enrolled in the prestigious Art Student’s League in New York City. For the next eight years, he illustrated hundreds of magazines and book covers.
Tom made his first of many trips to the fabled Four Sixes Ranch of West Texas in 1963. Since then, he has produced a remarkable body of work from those experiences. Included in his many awards is the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in 1996. He is also one of a handful of artists who has attained emeritus status in both the National Academy of Western Art and Cowboy Artists of America.
Today, Tom lives in Midland, Texas. His peers and collectors alike consider him to be one of the great Western artists of the 20th Century. As we move into the new century he continues to paint canvases that bring forth character and stories with every loving stroke.