1901 – 1973
Phillip Evergood’s( born Bashki) early life ranged across two continents. Born in New York, he was the son of an Englishwoman and an Australian artist. His father changed the family name from Bashki to Evergood in 1915. Phillip Evergood showed early, near prodigy- like talent in music and at 8 years old played a concert with his piano teacher. His parents sent him to English boarding schools beginning in 1909, mainly at Eton and later he went to Cambridge University. He left Cambridge in 1921 to study art at London’s Slade School of Art. His emphasis was drawing and he studied under artists who followed a rigidly academic outline of teaching including drawing from classical sculpture as well as live models.
In 1923, at 22 years of age he returned to New York to study art at the Art Students’ League. A year later he went back to Europe; this time he traveled to Paris where he took classes at the Academie Julian. His most influential instructor there was William Hayter from whom he learned engraving.
He moved once more to New York in 1926, embarking on a career that was not particularly successful until several of his paintings were purchased by the noted art collector Joseph Hirshhorn, founder of the Hirshhorn Museum. Not only was the sale of several paintings enough to lift his financial woes, but recognition by Hirshhorn lifted Evergood several levels higher in the art world so that his sales increased as did the price of his work.
He taught art and music and, as this was nearing the end of the Great Depression, was involved in WPA mural work. The images of everyday New York life figured prominently in his art. His interest in human figures was exhibited in subjects of political and social injustice. He was an early supporter of civil rights.
Evergood’s work is almost equally divided between painting and etching. Artists that influenced him were those that also used their art for political and social reasons. They include: Bosch, Goya, Daumier, and Toulouse-Lautrec in Europe and John Sloan in New York. From Goya, Daumier, and Lautrec he learned the power of putting politico-social messages in the hands of large numbers of people through the multiple images of printmaking. His work was serious but generally had an element of humor and was somewhat morally symbolic from the 1950’s on. His blending of sophisticated drawing with intentionally crude drawing gave a cartoonish character to many of his works.
Some of the American museums hanging work by Evergood include the Smithsonian, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Los Angeles County Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum, Whitney Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. His work is also in the Tate Gallery in London and in the collection of the Vatican Museum.
Print is untitled etching
Inscribed in pen in the margin
signed in the plate “To Heia O. Limey with love, Phil Evergood”
7 ½” X 10 ½”