Born on January 27, 1915 in Pylypcze, Borshchiv, Ternopil Oblast in Ukraine to Jakiw Gniazdowski (h. Korab) and Martha Kubej (a Crimean/Kuban orphan). Jacques is the youngest of seven children.
Jacques starts drawing as a young child, his most prized possession is his double-ended two color pencil.
Attends private school (gymnasium) in Chortkiv. During his years in Chortkiv, Hnizdovsky has a roommate who was heavily involved in politics, something Hnizdovsky has no interest in. During a school search by the Polish police, Hnizdovsky's roommate, fearing impending arrest for his political activities, decides to hide all his political flyers under the Hnizdovsky's mattress. Hnizdovsky is arrested and imprisoned, while his roommate goes free. The imprisonment appears to have lasted over a year. Jacques Hnizdovsky is cleared of all charges, but the Chortkiv Academy refuses to allow him to return. This experience creates a hatred of all things political for the artist's entire life
The young artist is saved from a Polish concentration camp by Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky OBM, who transfers the young artist to Seminary, allowing him complete his gymnasium studies.
Graduates from Seminary in Lviv.
Receives a scholarship to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.
The German invasion of Poland forces the sudden closure of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Hnizdovsky is forced to flee by foot and by stowaway, with nothing but the clothes on his back. He finally settles in Zagreb, where he receives a scholarship to study at the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of Zagreb, receiving credit for the two semesters he completed in Warsaw.
Graduates from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb with honors. Continues post-graduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Zagreb for two more years.
Continues painting and drawing while living in a Displaced Persons' Camp in Wayern, Germany. Awaits permission to emigrate to the Unites States.
Arrives in the United States and settles in Saint Paul, Minnesota, working as a commercial artist and textile designer for Brown & Bigelow.
Receives the Purchase Award at the 1950 Minneapolis Institute of Arts Print Exhibition.
Moves to New York City to establish himself as an independent fine artist.
Receives American Citizenship on November 11, 1954
Travels to Paris to paint the architecture of Paris.
Marries a recent graduate of ESMOD (École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode), who was working in Paris as a stylist. Her financial support allows Hnizdovsky to stay an extra year in Paris to paint.
Arrives back to New York City with his new bride, settling in an unheated apartment in the East Bronx, a far cry from the apartment they shared in Paris.
Awarded the First Prize at the Boston Printmakers Annual Exhibition for his woodcut print "The Sheep".
Dies of a massive cerebral hemorrhage on November 8, 1985. Interred at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. Twenty years after his death, his remains are transferred to the historic Lychakiv Cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine.