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 Henry Nesbitt (Harry) McEvoy  (1828 - 1914)

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Lived/Active: Indiana/Ontario/Michigan / Canada      Known for: portrait, genre, landscape with waterfalls painting, teaching

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Ad Code: 3
Henry Nesbitt McEvoy
from Auction House Records.
Landscape with Distant Mountains
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Henry Nesbitt McEvoy (AKA: Harry McEvoy) was a painter and educator who was born in Birmingham, England and died in Detroit, Michigan.  The exact date of his emigration to North America is not known by our sources; however he lived in New York City, and then Indianapolis, Indiana before 1860.  He was living in Toronto, Ontario by 1864; in Hamilton, Ontario in 1865 (also commuting to a studio in Toronto); in London, Ontario from 1886 to 1895; and in Detroit, Michigan from 1895 until his death. (1)

His mediums were oil and watercolor. His subjects were landscapes, lakes, rivers, genre*, portraits, canoeing, hunting, pioneer life and especially waterfalls. His style was Realism*. AskART have excellent illustrations of his work. (2)

McEvoy’s paintings were exhibited with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts* in 1886; the “Colonial and Indian Exhibition”, London, England in 1886; at the Art Association of Montreal [now Montreal Museum of Fine Arts] spring show in 1895, and, recently, at the Hamilton Art Gallery in the 2006 exhibition titled “A Glimpse of the Sublime through 19th Century Canadian Art”. (3)

According to the Canadian Heritage Information Network* there are twenty-two Henry McEvoy works in the permanent collections of Canadian Museums – four in Museum London (Ontario), one in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec), and seventeen in the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Ontario). All are oil paintings and only three titles indicate subjects not in North America – Sunset on the Mediterranean ; The Sketcher, North Wales; and On the Thames. (4)

 
Footnotes:

(1.1) Sources: The American dates and places of residence are from Who Was Who in American Art (1999), by Peter Hastings Falk (see AskART book references); the Canadian dates and places of residence are from The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction (2001), by Anthony R. Westbridge and Diana L. Bodnar (see AskART book references).  Both sources agree on the dates and places of birth and death, but their chronologies don’t overlap much.  There is only one discrepancy and that is: Falk has Hamilton before New York.  Falk is as follows: Hamilton, then New York City, then Indianapolis, Indiana by 1860. No indication is given by Falk as to McEvoy’s movements, between 1860 and his death in Detroit; no indication is given by Westbridge as to his movements before 1864.

(1.2) About McEvoy, Early Painters and Engravers in Canada (1970), by J. Russell Harper (see AskART book references) notes: “In Toronto Directory described as an artist giving lessons in oil painting 1864-5 and a portrait painter 1868-9, but scenic and landscape artist in Hamilton 1865-6 with Toronto studio.”  (page 207).

(2.1) At least seven [several are not illustrated or titled] of his twenty-two paintings in Canadian museums are of waterfalls and, at the time of preparing this biography, four of the eleven examples in AskART are of waterfalls. Webster’s Falls near Hamilton is a particular favorite; five of the seven waterfall paintings in museums are of it, one in AskART.

(2.2) Sources: AskART Images; museum illustrations and descriptions of mediums in the Canadian Heritage Information Network* data base; Smithsonian Institute Research Information System (SIRIS)*; and Early Painters and Engravers in Canada (1970), by J. Russell Harper (see AskART book references).

(3) Sources: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: Spring Exhibitions 1880 – 1970 (1988), by Evelyn de R. McMann; Royal Canadian Academy of Arts: Exhibitions and Members, 1880 – 1979 (1981), by Evelyn de R. McMann (see AskART book references); D & E Lake Ltd. Galleries, Toronto, Ontario; and the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

(4) The title Sunset on the Mediterranean would indicate travel by the artist to that region; though, none of our sources refer to McEvoy traveling in Europe or to the Mediterranean before or after coming to North America.  However, there is little information about his life before 1860.  For those interested in doing further research, the “latest production date” for the painting in question is listed as 1890 (other works in Canadian museums by McEvoy have production dates as early as 1850 and as late as 1908).  Source: Canadian Heritage Information Network*.

Additional source:

Biographical Index of Artists in Canada (2003), by Evelyn de Rostaing McMann (see AskART book references).

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART.com. Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx.

Prepared and contributed by M.D. Silverbrooke.

 

 

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.
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