Philip Evergood

BIOGRAPHY

Philip Evergood Biography

Philip Evergood (1901-1973) was one of the most important Social Realists of the 20th century.  Evergood was a painter, sculptor, printmaker, illustrator and writer. 

In 1923, Evergood enrolled at the Art Students League in New York where he met George Luks, John Sloan and Reginald Marsh. These artists had a profound effect on the young painter, shifting Evergood's sensibility from the grandeur of his European training to the grittier realities of his native soil. Evergood's belief in art’s power to find the truth and in art’s responsibility to reveal it gave him purpose for creating his art.

In the 1930s when the Great Depression was underway Evergood became one of the leaders of the Social Realist movement, a group of artists that used their art to critique the social and political conditions of the working class. Evergood became president of the Artists Union and a member of the American Artists Congress. Evergood was part of the Public Works Art Project (PWPA) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In 1937 Evergood joined ACA Gallery and had his first show in 1938. Seeing his work at ACA, Joseph H. Hirshhorn, founder of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, DC became an avid supporter.

Though Evergood’s personal and professional situation improved after the Great Depression, his passions remained with everyday people struggling for their bread and dignity. Throughout the 1940s and beyond, Evergood continued to expose the realities of social injustice, the brutality of war, and racial bigotry. By the 1950s, Evergood expanded his oeuvre into expressions of human fantasy. Though still rooted in the discipline of fine draftsmanship, Evergood now explored humanity’s inner life expressed in mythological themes. But even within this more symbolist realm, Evergood maintained his commitment to human dignity and the struggle to achieve it.

Philip Evergood's work is in the collections of major museums in America and abroad, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, London’s Tate Gallery, the Vatican Museum, and many others.