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
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
Inscribed in pen in the margin
signed in the plate
“To Heia O. Limey with love,
7 ˝” X 10 ˝”