Sep 202018

Sidney David Sklar (1924-2015) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 19 May 1924. His mother had been born in Russia and his father, whose family was of Ukrainian roots, in Romania. Sid had several older siblings, including Rose, Benjamin and Shirley.

Sid Sklar began his art studies at the Art Institute of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1936.

As the second world war came to an end, Sid married Gertrude (Trudy) G. Mizel (sometimes Myzel); the couple settled in Milwaukee and had a daughter, Deborah, in about 1946 and a son, Leland, in 1947. (Leland became an internationally respected musician).

In 1947, Sklar entered the University of Wisconsin to study painting, crafts and art history.

In about 1951, the family moved to Van Nuys, California. Sklar appears to have operated several businesses over the years in Van Nuys, including a swimming pool service (1958), the Saticoy News (1965), and a bookstore (1968).

Sid Sklar. Undated. Untitled.

Sid Sklar. Undated. Untitled.

According to El Informador, Sklar studied in Guadalajara several times with Jesús Serna between 1972 and 1987, when the family rented a home there. The family lived permanently in Guadalajara for several years before moving to Chapala. Their landlord’s son, Arq Sotirios Lambros, became friends with the Sklars and remembers the two paintings shown here as being on prominent display in their Guadalajara home. When they moved to Chapala, Sid Sklar asked Lambros, then an architecture student, for advice concerning a house he was thinking of buying; on inspection, that particular residence was clearly seriously damaged and the sale was never completed.

Sid Sklar exhibited several times in Guadalajara, including at two successive collective exhibits at the Instituto Cultural Mexicano-Norteamericano de Jalisco A.C. in October and November 1988. The following year, Sklar’s paintings were included in a month-long show at Galeria Ricardo Montaño (Av Union Sur 126), alongside bronze and marble sculptures by Sergio Cuevas (of San Juan Cosalá), watercolors by Jesús Monroy, and stained glass by Ricardo Montaño Aviña. That show opened on 24 February 1989.

In April 1989, Sklar exhibited at Lake Chapala at the Art Studio Gallery in San Antonio Tlayacapan, a gallery run by Luisa Julian de Arechiga and her husband. At that time, the Sklars were still living in Guadalajara; it would be several years before their move to Chapala.

Sid Sklar. 1973. Untitled.

Sid Sklar. 1973. Untitled.

Sklar is reported to have also exhibited at the Galeria Salvador Padilla in 1989, and at the Galeria de Arte Actual in 1991, though no details of either of these shows have yet surfaced.

His last show in Guadalajara was in October 1994 at the Galeria Art in Profile (Lopez Cotilla 228). A reviewer noted that Sklar’s later paintings often had cats in them, despite not owning any cat because his wife, Trudy, was allergic to them. It was while visiting a cat-owning relative in the US that Sklar apparently fell in love with cats’ facial features and expressions. The reviewer also commented that Sklar was a happy artist who never painted anything sad, dark or depressing.

After some years living in Chapala, Sid and Trudy Sklar returned to the US where they settled in Spokane, Washington, to be closer to family. Sid Sklar died in Spokane on 15 June 2015.

Note: This profile was significantly updated in February 2023.

[Also note that, as confirmed in a comment, there is another artist named Sid Sklar; a visually-impaired artist who was one of the first people in the world to have a successful cornea transplant (in 1941). This Sid Sklar started painting watercolors in the 1990s, following a terrible accident when he was hit at a toll booth by a hit-and-run driver. His extraordinary story has been told by journalist Beverly Antel.]


My thanks to Ricardo Santana for bringing Sid Sklar to my attention and for his kind permission to reproduce the images used in this post. My thanks also to readers who have sent comments helping to improve this post, especially to Arq. Sotirios Lambros.


  • Valley News (Van Nuys, California) 6 Dec 1968, 22.
  • El Informador: 14 Oct 1988, 8; 11 Nov 1988; 24 Feb 1989; 25 Feb 1989; 23 October 1994.

Other Art Mysteries:

  9 Responses to “Sid Sklar lived at Lake Chapala in the 1990s”

  1. Hello! My father was the Sidney Sklar you mentioned who was the corneal transplant recipient in 1941, and who had the hit and run accident while working on the PA Turnpike. I can confirm that these two paintings were not created by him, as most of his works were landscapes and seascapes in a different style.

    Best regards,
    Harry Sklar

    • Hello Harry. Thanks for taking the time to write. Your father was clearly a very remarkable man, even if he did not paint the two “Sid Sklar” paintings I have seen. The mystery continues but your input has at least ended one line of enquiry. Thanks again for your help, TB.

  2. I kwew Sid Sklar since I was a child, and I can confirm that this painting was made by him. Sid and his wife Trudy, where friends of my fathers, for a long time before they move to Chapala, they rent a house of my family. They where always kind specialy Trudy. If you search for Leland Sklar, you will find more answers.
    Yes, I remember those paintins hanging from the wall back then when he rents my faters house.

    • Thanks for your comments, for confirming the authorship of the paintings and for the mention of Leland Sklar. Exciting to learn of the link between Sid Sklar and such a famous musician. Also, how fantastic that you actually remember the paintings on the walls of your father’s house! Are you able to give me some idea of when Sid and Trudy were living in Guadalajara and when they moved to Chapala? Were they living in Chapala or in Ajijic? Thanks in advance for any further information you can share, Regards, Tony

  3. Sorry for the late replay. I think they star to rent my fathers house in 1987-1988 (I moved from that house when I was 10 years old). Last time I saw Sid, I was in University. As I studied Architecture (1996-2001), he ask me to give him some advise about a hosue somebody where selling to him in Chapala. The house was completely damage but after that he told my mother that they where living somewhere at the riviera. I think my mother should have some pictures of Sd and Trudy, and I´m sure there where pictures of their grandhildrens, I don´t remember their names.

    • I wrote to Lee, and he told me that Sid and Trudy moved from Chapala to Spokane, Washington to be closer to their family and both past away.

    • Thanks for the updated information, and for helping to improve this website.

  4. I just went to my mothers house and took some pictures of sid and trudy, some of his paintings and if you send me a mail direction, I can send it to you

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