Website updated on 22 April, 2022
Welcome to the Jon Gnagy Historical Society Website. The purpose of this website is to, quite simply,
encourage the memory of and appreciation for Jon Gnagy --- America's first art teacher. Mr. Gnagy
began his career as America's Art Teacher in 1946 when he created the first art instruction
televieion show, which was telecast from New York City. He was the first and he was
the best; he showed everyone how it should be done.
Charles M. Province, founder of The Jon Gnagy Society, has been a fan of "Jonny" for over 50 years,
having watched him on an old Admiral Black & White 12-inch telelvision way back in the 1940s.
Mr. Province is also the author of a recently published book called:
Jon Gnagy –– America's Art Teacher
It's the first and only complete biography ever written about Jonny Gnagy's life, career, and teaching philosophy.
Mr. Province's book is also crammed full of Gnagy stories; a massive Gnagy Art Gallery and many "fishing"
articles and artwork done by Jonny––who was an obsessive fisherman. He created quite a bit of exquisite
"fish art" for books and he was often paid to test and review fishing gear in addition to writing stories
for fishing magazines.
Visitors to this website will no doubt be very pleased to know that the entire website is based on the Gnagy
book written by Mr. Province. To that end, the book's Table of Contents is listed below to show exactly
what is contained in the 448 page volume. The high-lighted chapter names indicate a link that will
display an edited pdf of that chapter –– Free! This is no cheap, pulp book either, it's a highly
researched and detailed volume printed on "bright white" paper with "premium color." It's
manufactured to be of the highest quality and to be a highlight of any personal library.
The book can be ordered directly from Amazon in either hardcover or paperback.
Just click on one of the book covers below to order your copy today!
Hardcover or Paperback
Jon Gnagy - America's Art Teacher chronicles the life and career of Jon Gnagy, the first Television Art Instructor.
When Jon Gnagy appeared as the first "star" of the first television show ever telecast by the new RCA-NBC
Channel 4 (WNBT) from the top of the Empire State building in New York City in May, 1946, he started
a career that continued the rest of his life. His art, drawings, books, and art-kits started the television
art instruction format and he's been copied many times by many people, but he remains the first
and the best art instructor to ever teach over the television airwaves. This volume examines his
life, career, artistic endeavors, and contains a huge gallery of his works. The man was a
Master Artist and he should be remembered for the magnificent legacy
he left for the artistic community.
To learn more about the great artist and teacher, Jon Gnagy, click on any of the highlighted links below.
You'll be given access to PDFs of those chapters from the book. If you like what you see and want
to learn more, you can purchase the entire book on Amazon. You'll need the Adobe Reader
app, of course, to read the highlighted chapters below.
–– Jon Gnagy ––
–– America's Art Teacher ––
–– Table of Contents ––
A Long Way From Varner's Forge, Kansas
You Are an Artist TV Show
A Typical Show
A Typical 15-Minute Drawing Class
The Museum of Modern Art Makes a Complaint
The Impact of Color Television
Excerpt From RCA's Color TV Field Tests
Gnagy Paint by Number Examples
The The Artful Angler
Easy Does It
How to Land Lunkers on Thread Line
How Jason Won the Jack Pot
The World's Toughest Spinning Tackle
To Catch 'Em, Join 'Em
A Jon Gnagy Art Gallery
1925 Hutchinson High School Yearbook
Black & White Drawings
Color Drawings & Paintings
Jon Gnagy –– Influence and Legacy
Mary Jo Gnagy
Memories From Jon's “Students of the Airwaves”
Creating a Book Cover
How I Make a Portrait Using Pastel Pencils
Sequential Progress of Two Sketches
Mike Bennett and Henry Balzer (listed above) are former students of the great Jon Gnagy.
Henry shared his Gnagy Story with me for the book and he included some material
he created while a student of Gnagy. Mike also worked with me, sharing his
Gnagy story in addition to creating the Gnagy Portrait and Gnagy Cover
art. If you'd like to see more of their artwork, especially Mike's
"Gnagy Inspired" sketches, click their names in this paragraph.
If you'd like to see some of the original Kinescopes of the Jon Gnagy Learn to Draw
television shows, the ones that still exist are available on Youtube. They were
uploaded by Jonny's daughter, Polly Seymour. Click the Introduction video
and the rest should play in sequence.
Watch them! They're Great!
Jon Gnagy Instructional Sets and Books
are still available from
Martin F. Weber Co.
The Jon Gnagy Historical Society
is a subsidiary of
The General Patton Society
If you have questions, comments, suggestions, or want to
share your personal Jon Gnagy stories, contact us at: