Anne Evans Painting Discovered


Catkin – courtesy Hugh Grant, Kirkland Museum Fine and Decorative Art, Denver

Anne Evans spent much of her time in the years between 1897 and 1999 training to become a professional artist. In 1896 she was accepted as a professional member of the recently-formed Denver Artists’ Club, the organization which eventually became the Denver Art Museum, on the basis of her Portrait of her Father, Governor John Evans. That portrait, together with a painting of her young niece Margaret – both of which hang in the Byers-Evans House Museum – were the only two works by Anne Evans known to exist when I first started the research for my book about her life. During the years before its publication a third painting, A Little Winter Scene, was discovered by Deborah Wadsworth as she conscientiously digitized the entire art collection of the Western History Department of the Denver Pubic Library. Imagine, then, the excitement when a private show/sale of “important early Denver and boulder painters” advertised a landscape, Catkin, by Anne Evans! Imagine also the dismay, when it was reported almost immediately that the painting had been sold. And imagine, finally, the relief when we learned that the buyer was Hugh Grant, and that the painting was to become part of the Kirkland Museum’s collection.

Many questions remain about Anne Evans and her art. Why did she apparently decide, quite early and quite definitely, to give up her own painting and devote herself to nurturing the careers of other artists, and to helping the young cultural institutions of Denver and Colorado to flourish? And what happened to the scores of drawings, sketches and paintings which she must have produced in the many years of her artistic training? The discovery of the landscape, Catkin, gives me hope that more of her work – perhaps now hanging in private homes or lingering in basements or attics, may yet be discovered.

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The book may be obtained through
Friends of the Denver Public Library

For information about Anne Evans & the book: Jillian.Allison@state.co.us
This project is co-published with the Center for Colorado and the West Auraria Library.
© 2011-2012 By Barbara Sternberg. All right reserved.