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Charles Evans was a modernist known for his abstract style of painting. He studied at New York's Art Students League and Parsons School of Design, and later in Paris with Fernand Lger at the Acadmie Moderne. In 1930, Evans and his wife spent a year living in what was Paul Cezanne's studio in Aix-en-Provence, France. The following year, Evans purchased the old silk mill in New Hope and became involved in the area's modernist movement, joining the Independents in 1932. By 1935, he began to work collaboratively with Louis Stone, whom he had met in 1929 while studying with Hans Hofman in Saint Tropez, and with Charles F. Ramsey, teaching art classes and working on the Cooperative Painting Project. Every week, the three were joined by the abstract painter, Lee Gatch, in discussions at Ledger's Inn in Lambertville. In 1948 Evans co-founded the New Hope Gazette with Walter M. Teller. The same year he created set designs for St. John Terrell's Lambertville Music Circus. He also designed sets for the Bucks County Playhouse and Philadelphia's Playhouse in the Park. He later served as Set Designer for the Fred Miller Theater in Milwaukee and as Artistic Director for the Queen Elizabeth Playhouse in Vancouver, Brittish Columbia.
Charles Evans, Munich, 1930. Courtesy of Pedersen Gallery.
Education and Training
Colgate University, Hamilton, New York
Art Students League, New York, New York
Parsons School of Design, New York, New York
Connection to Bucks County
In 1931, while still in his twenties, Charles Evans and his wife, Eleanor Noteware, bought New Hope's old silk mill. This had been a favorite subject of the painter Robert Spencer. Evans met Charles Frederick Ramsey, the leader of the New Group, a secessionist group of modernist artists which later became the Independents. Evans was one of its original members, along with Henry Baker, Charles Child, Ralston Crawford, Robert Hogue, Peter Keenan, R.A.D. Miller, C. F. Ramsey, and Faye Swengel Badura. After encouraging Louis Stone to move to the area in 1935, he began the Cooperative Painting Project with Ramsey and Stone. This project produced art collectively, not unlike the processes in jazz improvisation. They were occasionally joined by journalist William Chapman, poet Stanley Kunitz, and carpenter Karl Roos. After moving to Lambertville in 1935, Lee Gatch joined Evans, Stone and Ramsey for weekly discussions at Ledger's Inn.
Evans remained involved in the New Hope community until the 1950s. He sold his home in New Hope and retired to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts in 1970.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Evans was a member of the Independents along with Peter Keenan, Robert Hogue, R.A.D. Miller, Henry Baker, Ralston Crawford, C.F. Ramsey, Charles Child, and Faye Swengel Badura and a member of the Coopeartive Painting Project.
In 1948 Evans co-founded the New Hope Gazette with Walter M. Teller. He also created set designs for St. John Terrell's Lambertville Music Circus. Through his theater and design interests, Evans worked with Elmer Case, James Hamilton, Karl Karhumaa, and Emile Laugier.
Teaching and Professional Appointments
Co-founder with Walter M. Teller, New Hope Gazette, 1948
Set designer, Fred Miller Theater, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Artistic director, Queen Elizabeth Playhouse, Vancouver, British Columbia
Major Solo Exhibitions
Noyes Museum, Oceanville, New Jersey, 1991
Major Group Exhibitions
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1940, 1942
50th Anniversary Retrospective Art Exhibition, Phillips' Mill, New Hope, Pennsylvania, 1979
The New Hope Modernists 1917-1950, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 1991
Objects of Desire, Michener Art Museum in New Hope, New Hope, Pennsylvania, September 16, 2005-January 15, 2006
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