Sep 202018
 

The artist Sid Sklar exhibited at Lake Chapala in April 1989. The images show two very different works by this artist. I have been unable to pin down any biographical details about Sid Sklar, so I’m hoping that some alert reader will supply me with more clues about his  life and work.

Sklar’s 1989 exhibit was at the Art Studio Gallery in San Antonio Tlayacapan, a gallery run by Luisa Julian de Arechiga and her husband. The brief note about the exhibit suggests that Sklar lived in Guadalajara.

Sid Sklar. Undated. Untitled.

Sid Sklar. Undated. Untitled.

I have found only tiny snippets of information related to Sid (presumably Sidney) Sklar, though am unable to say whether or not they necessarily refer to the same person. There are three or four people in the U.S. who would have been about the right age at the time, living in several different states.

The most detailed account on line is of a visually-impaired artist named Sid Sklar who was one of the first people in the world to have a successful cornea transplant (in the early 1940s). It seems, though, that he only took up art (with watercolors) in the 1990s, following a terrible accident when he was hit at a toll booth by a hit-and-run driver. The extraordinary story of this Sid Sklar has been told by journalist Beverly Antel. Given the dates, this does not appear to be the correct Sid Sklar for the Chapala exhibition. (See comments below which confirm that this Sidney Sklar was not the one who painted the paintings shown here).

Sid Sklar. 1973. Untitled.

Sid Sklar. 1973. Untitled.

The first of the two Sidney Sklar references that may refer to the right person comes from Baltimore in 1976, where a review of a show of works by members of Artists Equity at the Turner Auditorium Gallery of the Johns Hopkins Medical School included “Midsummer”, in which “Sidney Sklar exhibits masterful control over batik.”

The second reference comes from Ottawa, Canada, in 1981. A display ad for a new collection of jewelry on sale at The Bay (Hudson’s Bay Company) in Ottawa lists a Sid Sklar among the designers of the “The Signature Collection by Universe International.”

If anyone can help identify the correct Sid Sklar or tell me any more about him, please get in touch via the comments section.

Acknowledgment

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.

Sources

  • Beverly Antel. 2009. “Seeing Life With The Eyes Of A Child.” National Keratoconus Foundation, Feb 2009.
  • The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland), 29 Apr 1976, 27.
  • The Ottawa Citizen (Canada) 17 Nov 1981, 53.

Other Art Mysteries:

  4 Responses to “Art Mystery: Sid Sklar exhibited at Lake Chapala in 1989”

  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

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