Philip Evergood

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Philip Evergood
Philip Evergood, circa 1942
Philip Howard Francis Dixon Blashki

October 26, 1901
New York City, US
Known forPainting, Sculpture, Printmaking

Philip Howard Francis Dixon Evergood (born Howard Blashki; 1901–1973) was an American Social Realist painter, etcher, lithographer, sculptor, illustrator and writer.[1] He was particularly active during the Depression and World War II era.[2][3]


Philip Evergood was born in New York City in 1901.[3] His mother was English and his father, Miles Evergood, was an Australian artist of Polish Jewish descent who, in 1915, changed the family's name from Blashki to Evergood. Philip Evergood's formal education began in 1905. He studied music and by 1908 he was playing the piano in a concert with his teacher.[4]

He attended different English boarding schools starting in 1909 and was educated mainly at Eton and Cambridge University. In 1921 he decided to study art, left Cambridge, and went to London to study with Henry Tonks at the Slade School.[4]

In 1923 Evergood went back to New York where he studied at the Art Students League of New York for a year, studying with George Luks and William von Schlegell.[3] He then returned to Europe, worked at various jobs in Paris, painted independently, and studied at the Académie Julian with André Lhote. He also studied with Stanley William Hayter at Atelier 17;[5] Hayter taught him engraving.

He returned to New York in 1926 and began a career that was marked by the hardships of severe illness, an almost fatal operation, and constant financial trouble.

It was not until the collector Joseph H. Hirshhorn purchased several of his paintings that he could consider his financial troubles over. Evergood worked on WPA art projects from 1934 to 1937 where he painted two murals: The Story of Richmond Hill (1936–37, Public Library branch, Queens, N.Y.) and 'Cotton from Field to Mill (1938, post office in Jackson, Ga.).[4] He taught both music and art as late as 1943, and finally moved to Southbury, Connecticut, in 1952. He was a full member of the Art Students League of New York and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

A New York City police officer was killed in the line of duty at Evergood's house located at 132 Bank Street, Greenwich Village on August 17, 1947. Police Officer Thomas J. Gargan, responding to a neighbor's call reporting a burglary, was fatally shot in the chest and his partner was wounded by the burglar. Gargan was posthumously awarded the Daily News Hero Award. It was the second time he had won this award.[6] The burglar used a single shot signal flare gun (sawed off shotgun) he had found in the house. He was sentenced to death and executed in 1948. Evergood was charged with violating the Sullivan Act for failing to register the gun.[7] He was acquitted by a three judge panel.[8]

Evergood was killed in a house fire in Bridgewater, Connecticut, in 1973 at the age of 72.[4] He is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn.[9]


Evergood's influences include El Greco, Bosch, Brueghel, Goya, Daumier, Toulouse-Lautrec, Sloan's Ashcan paintings, and even prehistoric cave art.

Evergood is noted for his deliberately awkward drawing and his spontaneous bold lines. His skillfully organized sophisticated compositions are often humorous, frequently fantastic, and sometimes openly symbolic. His color is never conventional but rather evokes an extremely personal mood that reveals the artist as both militantly social and warmly sensuous.[10]

Though he experimented with etching and lithography in the 1920s, he did not begin to devote himself on a large scale to original printmaking until after 1945. At this time he studied printmaking techniques at the New York studio of Stanley William Hayter. During the following twenty-five years he produced many works of art in both lithography and etching.[2]

During the 1950s Evergood departed from his established "Social Realism" style and concentrated on symbolism, both biblical and mythological. A characteristic work of this period in Evergood's life is The New Lazarus, painted in 1954 and presently housed in the Whitney Museum of American Art.[4]

Evergood Self Portrait: c. 1960, University of Kentucky Art Museum Collection

He maintained a socially conscious attitude in his art for the remainder of his career, and was in fact considered to be something of a maverick. He was a figurative painter when much of the art world placed greater value on abstraction, and he was a moralist when moralizing was not considered an option for serious painters. His best-known works are gritty, populist images of contemporary life, and are full of vitality and imagination. A blend of reality and fantasy gives his paintings an appealing, cartoonish quality, and his incisiveness as a social critic emboldens his work. His art is founded on contradiction: sophisticated intent is matched by intentionally crude technique, and tawdry overstatement is balanced with delicate lines.[11]

Oils at auction[edit]

Enlarged Evergood Signature (Via Evergood Self Portrait, Morgan Collection)

The following is a sample of Evergood oil paintings that have sold at auction. Significant works in oil by the artist tend to be in the five figure range (USD), while less important works are most often represented by sales in the low, mid and high four figure range (USD). Extremely important works of particular renown by this artist can reasonably be expected to break into the six figure range (USD) and are infrequently seen on the open market due to heavy museum consumption of important Evergood works from the 1950s through the 1980s.[12]

  • 13–09–06 Victory Buttons Oil US$54,000
  • 13–07–06 Self-portrait With Nudes Oil US$1,680
  • 25–06–06 Girl in Garden Oil US$2,185
  • 03–12–05 Little Rock Oil US$8,000
  • 24–05–05 Still Life With Fishermen Oil US$8,500
  • 22–05–05 Woman And Laughing Dog Brush US$2,300
  • 20–05–05 Portrait Of Richard Esquire Oil US$1,057
  • 23–03–05 Forest With Riders Oil US$6,600
  • 27–09–04 Fruit 76.8 x 59.1 in Oil US$28,680
  • 08–09–04 Fat of the Land Oil US$8,963
  • 18–05–04 The Dog Bite Clinic Oil US$71,700
  • 07–03–04 Children And Very Giant Squash Oil US$7,000
  • 07–10–03 World War I Oil Unsold

Selected exhibitions[edit]

  • Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1928, 1939–1963
  • Salons of America, 1934
  • PAFA, 1934–66 (gold medal 1949, 1958)
  • AIC 1935 (prize)
  • AIC 1946 (prize)
  • WFNY, 1939
  • La Pintura Contemporanea Norte America, 1941
  • WMA, 1942
  • AV 1942 (prize)
  • American-British Goodwill Art Exhibition, 1944
  • Pepsi Cola Art Competition, 1944 (winner)
  • Tate Gallery: London 1946
  • American Art Exhibition: Moscow, 1959
  • Whitney Museum of American Art 1934–66 (Evergood Retrospective – 1967)
  • Gallery Of Modern Art, Huntington, Hartford Museum, 1967
  • ASL New York, 1967–68
  • Smithsonian, 1968
  • The WPA Art Of New York City Exhibit, Parsons School Of Design, 1977 (posthumous)[4]

Museum collections[edit]

This is a partial list of works by Evergood in museums.[13] [14]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Dorothy DeBisschop (April 26, 2011). "One Time Oxford Resident Was Renowned Controversial Artist". The Oxford Patch.
  2. ^ a b "Philip Evergood". Archived from the original on 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2007-03-11.
  3. ^ a b c Grant Wingate, Zenobia. "Phillip Evergood". Caldwell Gallery Hudson.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Who Was Who in American Art, Soundview Press 1999, Evergood, Philip
  5. ^ "The Arts Collection: Atelier 17 : a 50th anniversary retrospective exhibition: Artists who have worked at Atelier 17". University of Wisconsin. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  6. ^ "12 Aug 2007, 46 - Daily News at". 2007-08-12. Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  7. ^ "19 Aug 1947, 522 - Daily News at". 1947-08-19. Retrieved 2022-06-05.
  8. ^ Baur, John I. H. (1960). Philip Evergood. Whitney Museum of American Art by Praeger. p. 92.
  9. ^ Collins, Glenn (6 December 2008). "Green-Wood Cemetery Builds a Collection". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  10. ^ Wilmer Gonzalez-Valerio. "Philip Evergood". Archived from the original on 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2007-02-23.
  11. ^ "The Art Museum". Archived from the original on 2006-10-28. Retrieved 2007-03-11.
  12. ^ "Art prices, art appraisal – Search free". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-03-11.
  13. ^ "Philip Evergood". Archived from the original on 2007-02-12. Retrieved 2007-03-11.
  14. ^ Baur, John I. H. Philip Evergood. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1972.