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Untitled, James Franklin Snodgrass, Oil & acrylic on canvas, Photo by Jill Fannon

James Franklin Snodgrass


James Franklin Snodgrass was born in Harford County, Maryland, and the son of a schoolteacher. After college he found employment with Greneker's Display Fixtures as an itinerant mannequin painter, traveling throughout the United States. During World War II Snodgrass declared himself a conscientious objector and worked as an ambulance driver for the Quaker society. Making appearances on television game shows became a peculiar "hobby" of his. On a few occasions he even won prize money. For a short while in the late 1950's, he became the focus of public attention when he stepped forward to announce fraudulent practices he discovered on the famous quiz show "21" (his story inspired the making of the 1994 film Quiz Show). His notoriety soon waned and thereafter he became increasingly reclusive, focusing solely on his own art. Snodgrass died from cancer in early 2000.