Born in Fort Worth, Texas on December 30, 1919, Bill Bomar began his life-long love of painting at the age of seven. It was at this young age, while sitting for a commissioned portrait by the artist Murray Bewley, that Bomar’s interest in the world of art was kindled

For nearly 30 years Bomar made his home at the Chelsea Hotel in New York, using the space as a studio and absorbing the city's engrossing artistic atmosphere. "A person is exposed to a wide range of expression in New York," he commented. "It is invaluable to anyone who is trying to discover his own vocabulary in painting." In 1970 Bomar left the city and moved full time to New Mexico, a place where he had spent many summers.

It was through his mother, Jewel Nail Bomar, and the Nail family, that Bomar maintained a connection with the Albany, Texas area. In the late 1970s, together with his cousin Reilly Nail, the two co-founded what would become the Old Jail Art Center. Combining their collections of 20th century modern art along with art from their mothers’ collections, the museum opened in December of 1980. Today the Old Jail Art Center encompasses some 17,000 square feet and is a thriving, widely-acclaimed art museum dedicated to the visual arts and to preserving the local history of the Shackelford County area.

Banner Image Credit:

Nile at Luxor, 1954


American (1919-1991)

Oil on linen

Bequest of Bill Bomar known as the Jewel Nail Bomar and William P. Bomar, Jr. Collection