Snow’s history is a complicated one. In 1964, Roth was invited to Philadelphia to collaborate on a book project with Eugene Feldman, an art professor and proprietor of Falcon Press, who had seen a version of Roth’s Book (completed that year) and admired his experiments with primary colors and basic shapes. Feldman was dismayed at the radical shift in Roth’s approach, in which the rigors of color and form had given way to an open-armed embrace of chance, accumulation, mess, and everyday objects, and their collaboration stalled. Another local professor stepped in and arranged for Roth to continue work on Snow under the aegis of the Philadelphia Museum College of Art, with the understanding that Roth would donate Snow to the college and, in exchange, the school would produce a paperback version of the project.
After selecting the book’s contents, Roth pinned the remaining pages up at the college gallery and invited guests “to drink some aquavit, to look at his current work, and to take home any (one) part of this work (free) that you like.” Roth’s deal with the college fell through, and he eventually self-published a paperback version of Snow in 1970, as part of his Collected Works series.