Cover photo for Christopher Rock Schnoor's Obituary

Christopher Rock Schnoor

Christopher Rock Schnoor

A memorial gathering in honor of Chris will be held on

Thursday, May 26th


Barber Park Events Center

4049 S Eckert Road

Boise, Idaho

Chris Schnoor, 72, was born in New York City on May 10, 1949, to Richard and Jane Schnoor. He passed away peacefully in his home in Boise on April 28, 2022.

Chris grew up in Westchester County, New York, at the home his family called “Tee House,” along a golf course in Armonk. But he spent much of his time in Manhattan, taking advantage of all the culture and community New York City had to offer.

After graduating from Pleasantville High School in 1967, he earned a degree in art history the State University of New York, Potsdam, where he was a member of the Sigma Tau Psi fraternity. He moved to New York City in the 1970s and worked for a number of art galleries. However, while standing in a hot subway tunnel one day, he decided he wanted a change. He came out to Seattle to visit his brother Steve in 1976 and stayed to start a new chapter in his life.

He quickly enmeshed himself in the local arts community, working at a gallery and at an art supply store, where he met his wife-to-be, Nora. They were married on February 13, 1982.

Chris attained his master's degree in intellectual history in 1984 from the University of Washington, where he focused on the works of Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky.

Chris then transitioned to paralegal work for law firms in Seattle and Boise, where he and Nora moved in 1991 after the birth of their son, Harry. But visual art remained his passion, and he worked for nearly 40 years as a freelance arts writer, critic, and art historian for national and regional publications including Sculpture Magazine and Art in America . He also penned art catalog essays for galleries and museums including the Boise Art Museum and Bellevue Arts Museum, and was a consistent arts reporter for Boise Weekly for nearly three decades.

Chris engaged deeply and wrote passionately about art, helping audiences to see elements and techniques as artists saw them. Along the way, he also built and maintained relationships with a wide range of art creators across the Pacific Northwest. “He will leave a big hole in our art family,” said one artist friend upon learning of Chris’ passing.

The home Chris and Nora cultivated has always been lined with artwork and alive with interesting books, fine food, and good conversation. He passed along a love of history, writing, and books to his son Harry, and was always excited to give or receive a new volume as a present.

Chris’s health declined rapidly in his final weeks, but he used what energy he had to connect with friends and family, telling old stories, laughing, and leaving positive memories. Even when he couldn’t sit up on his own or leave the hospital bed in his family room, he wouldn’t say no to a cup of coffee, and would sing along and move his feet to his favorite songs by the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and Bob Dylan. He left his home for the final time dressed like he was headed out to meet with friends: Converse All-Stars, a shirt from a favorite bookstore, and a SUNY Potsdam hat.

Chris is survived by his wife Nora and son Harry, his sister Sandy and her partner Bob, brother Steve and his wife Pam, sister Sue and her husband Ed, his brother-in-law Michael Sweeney and his wife Cathy, brother-in-law Tim Collias and his wife Dawn Marie, and numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family members.

Chris’ family asks that in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Boise Art Museum.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Christopher Rock Schnoor, please visit our flower store.


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