Founded by Oliver Caldwell and Susan Snyder in San Francisco in 1983, the gallery has grown from its early roots in an industrial space in the South of Market district to a contemporary gallery with international reach, representing a roster of over 50 artists from the U.S., Europe, and Latin America, with a focus on innovative painting and sculpture. In its three decades of continuous operation—a rare feat for a contemporary art gallery—Caldwell Snyder has opened satellite galleries in New York and St. Helena, California, mounted over 500 exhibitions, and participated in countless international art fairs.
The gallery’s flagship San Francisco location, which the owners purchased in the late ‘90s and transformed from a former restaurant into a light-filled, 9,000-square-foot exhibition space, has become a Union Square landmark. “Acquiring the Sutter Street building was a statement that the gallery was taking the long view,” says co-owner Oliver Caldwell. “By making that brick-and-mortar investment, we took a risk and did away with our escape hatch. We wanted to signal to our artists, our clients, and the public that we were in for the long haul.”
Over three decades, the gallery has built lasting relationships with collectors and artists. “One of the things I’m proudest of is the way we’ve nurtured artists and stood by them as they’ve evolved their styles,” says co-owner Susan Snyder. “It’s been gratifying to build trust among our artists and clients and to see people respond to the work we’ve put our faith in.”
Going into its fourth decade, the gallery will continue its dynamic program, remaining agile in response to new art and ways of communicating with the public, while maintaining the strong identity and aesthetic base that has marked its success for 30 years. “Art audiences today are inundated with imagery,” Caldwell says. “Collectors have seen a million landscapes, abstract works, and figures. The challenge is to be a distinctive and meaningful voice.”