Gallery Artists > Tom Ryan Biography :

Tom Ryan (1922 - 2012)  Artworks >>

Organizations* : CAA, NAWA

Known for his well drawn and meticulously realistic western genre paintings, Tom Ryan began his career as a New York illustrator, but by the 1950’s was doing Western subject matter. He has become one of America’s best-known Western artists and in 1996 won the Prix de West Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ryan was born in Illinois, trained in the Midwest and New York, and then worked as a magazine jacket illustrator before beginning his Western art career. His admiration for the illustration skills of Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth, and his understanding of cowboys and ranch life combine in skillfully and convincingly executed works.

In West Texas, Ryan found abundant material for fresh and original paintings of subjects that he could see and feel and know from an intimate perspective. The result has been a remarkable body of work; paintings of cattle, cattle country and the people who live and work there, all created with the strength and vitality of one who has seen it with his own eyes.

His work has graced the pages of numerous magazines devoted to western life and culture. Among these are Western Horseman, The Quarter Horse Journal, The Gilcrease Magazine of American History and Art, Southwest Art magazine, Art of the West magazine, and Persimmon Hill magazine, as well as Time and Life. His work is featured at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and at leading galleries and museums throughout the Southwest.

Ryan currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a member of the Cowboy Artists of America and the National Academy of Western Art.


  • CAA = Cowboy Artists of America
  • NAWA = National Academy of Western Artists
*Note: information presented on is subject to errors, omissions, price changes or withdrawal.