Ashcan School – Everett Shinn part 1

Continuing the intermittent theme on the New York "Ashcan School" (see Introduction 4 Oct 2012, William Glackens 6 - 14 Oct 2012, Robert Henri 22 Oct - 1 Nov 2012, George Luks 7 - 13 Nov 2012) the next artist I'm featuring is Everett Shinn.

Self-Portrait 1901 pastel on paper
Everett Shinn (1876 – 1953) was born in Woodstown, New Jersey, a large Quaker community. His parents were rural farmers. Shinn left Woodstown at the age of fourteen and enrolled at a technical institution known as the Spring Garden Institute in Philadelphia from 1888-1890. The school specialised in the teaching of mechanical drawing and architecture and was also attended by fellow member of “The Eight,” John Sloan. Following his education, Shinn spent a year working at the Thackery Gas Fixture Works designing light fixtures. After being fired for doodling in the margins of his plans, his former employer urged him to go into a more creative field, citing the newspaper and magazine industries as examples.

He began his work for the Philadelphia Press in 1893 as an illustrator. Many, including Shinn, consider this the true beginning of his art career. In later years, Shinn would express his great dismay over the development of photography as the major source of pictorials in newspapers because it eventually largely replaced his form of art. He continually moved from paper to paper for the rest of his illustrating career, receiving a pay increase with each move. The attention to detail necessary for his newspaper illustrations is reflected in his style and later paintings, especially those of urban nature. 

Shinn has said of his experience at the Philadelphia Press: "In the Art Department of the Philadelphia Press on wobbling, ink-stained drawing boards William J. Glackens, George Luks, Everett Shin and John Sloan went to school, a school now lamentably extinct…a school that trained memory and quick perception."

It was during Shinn's time in Philadelphia that artists John Sloan and Joseph Laub established the Charcoal Club as an alternative art school. The group, whose members were members of "The Eight" such as Henri, Sloan, Glackens, Luks and Shinn, reached a peak membership of 38 and sketched nudes and did critiques of each others work. The club is often thought of as the establishing point of the Philadelphia group, later known as ‘The Eight’.

In 1897, Shinn was offered a higher paying job as an illustrator for the New York newspaper, The World. He moved there and was joined shortly there after by his wife, Flossie, and by other members of the Charcoal Club. Shinn enjoyed living in the city and observing the eccentric daily hustle and bustle exemplified by living in New York. Much of Shinn's life and opinions were reflected in his work. His life in New York was a major subject in many of his paintings. Shinn often depicted scenes of drama and violence, rallying for social change and urban understanding. Coinciding with the dramatic themes found throughout his work, theatre was also a major subject in Shinn's pastels.

In 1899, he quit the newspaper business and began working for Ainslee's Magazine, a magazine that also employed his wife, who was by that time a very successful illustrator and who brought in a good deal of the household income. Shinn also started displaying his work publicly in 1899 with mixed reactions. In 1900, he and Flossie travelled to Europe for him study and prepare to produce another exhibit. The trip greatly influenced his art in years to come during his visit, he saw European art that was focused on theatrical portrayals, as well as impressionist works.

He suffered many losses during the Great Depression and sold very few paintings during that time. Between 1910 and 1937, Shinn held only one exhibition of paintings at Knoedler's in 1920. Between 1937 and his death in 1953, Shinn received several awards commending his innovative paintings and participated in several exhibitions. He died of lung cancer in 1953.

This is part 1 of a 3-part post on the works of Everett Shinn:

1898 Snow Storm, Madison Square, New York pencil & pastel 57.8 x 65.7 cm

c1898 New York Harbor pastel 21.6 x 33.7 cm

1899 Street Scene at a Fire printed illustration 16 x 18 cm

1899 Chinese Restaurant gouache on paper 21.6 x 33.7 cm

1899 Horse-drawn Bus pastel on paper 55.2 x 74.9 cm

1899 Madison Square and the Dewey Arch, Cross Streets of New York pastel, watercolour & gouache on board 74.3 x 46.3 cm

1899 Magazine Poster

1899 The Fight ink & watercolour on paper 21 x 33.7 cm

1899 Winter on 21st Street, New York pastel on grey paper 51.8 x 61.9 cm

c1899 Fifth Avenue mixed media on paper 51 x 41 cm

1900 Back Row, Follies Bergere pastel on paper 52 x 69 cm

1900 Fleishman's Bread Line pastel & watercolour on paper 21.6 x 34.3 cm

1900 Print from Harper's Weekly magazine 35 x 23 cm

1900 Progress of the Work on the Underground Railroad printed illustration from Harper's Weekly 17 x 22 cm

c1900-05 Sullivan Street oil on canvas 20.3 x 25.4 cm

c1900 All Night Café pastel, watercolour & graphite on paper 25 x 33.8 cm

1901 Broadway, Late in the Afternoon printed illustration from Century magazine 15 x 19 cm

1901 Cabs on the Fifth Avenue Side of Madison Square printed illustration from Century magazine 15 x 19 cm

1901 The Docks, New York City pastel on paper 39.4 x 55.9 cm

1902 Spanish Music Hall

1902 The Hippodrome, London oil on canvas 66.9 x 89.4 cm

1902 The Singer oil on canvas 66.7 x 44.1 cm

1902-06 Keith's Union Square oil on canvas 51.6 x 61.6 cm

1903 34th Street pastel on paper 22.9 x 33 cm

1903 Girl in Bathtub pastel on paper 40.6 x 35.6 cm

1903 In the Loge oil & pastel on canvas 64.8 x 43.5 cm

1903 Steps Between Houses Paris Street pastel on paper 53 x 71 cm

1903 Theater Scene oil on canvas 55.9 x 63.2 cm

1903 Window Shopping pastel on paper 36.2 x 45.72 cm

1904 Eviction (Lower East Side) gouache on paper 21.3 x 33.3 cm

1904 Matinée Crowd, Manhattan pastel & gouache on illustration board 46.4 x 27.9 cm

1904 The Tightrope Walker pastel on board 30.5 x 33 cm

1904 The White Ballet oil on canvas 74.9 x 93.3 cm

1905 Concert Stage oil on canvas 41.9 x 50.8 cm

1905 Outdoor Stage, France oil on canvas 62.9 x 54.6 cm

1905 Saturday Night watercolour & pastel on paper 45.1 x 60.3 cm

c1905-06 Rehearsal of the Ballet oil on canvas 45 x 67 cm

1906 A French Music Hall oil on canvas 61 x 74.9 cm