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 Grace Hamilton French Evans  (1887 - 1953)



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Lived/Active: New York/Iowa / Canada      Known for: figure painting and writing

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The daughter of Judge Nathaniel French, a leader in Iowa's Democratic Party, Grace French was part of a prominent, Davenport family and educated at traditional preparatory schools. French attended St. Katherine's School for Girls in Davenport and then completed classes at Abbott Academy, now known as Phillips Andover Academy (Andover, MA). In 1909, she married Harry F. Evans, an industrial executive affiliated with the Davenport Wagon Company. Evans eventually became the vice president for the Moline Plow Company, a precursor to the Minneapolis-Moline Power Implement corporation. French's personal wealth allowed her to avidly pursue her art interests and to be a benefactor to numerous Davenport-area civic and arts organizations.

She participated in the Woodstock (NY) Art Colony* and attended the Art Students League* (NYC).  Following early 1920s painting studies in Paris, Evans exhibited at the Toledo Museum of Art (OH), the Woodstock Art Association* (1926-1927), the Provincetown Art Museum (MA), the Whitney Club (NYC), and the Brickyard Feature Exhibit (Kingston, NY, 1927).

In 1931, she participated in the Fourth Exhibition of the Woodstock Art Gallery and received the Iowa Artists' Club's Nollen Prize for her painting Seated Nude. She attended the Stone City Art Colony* (1932-1933). Evans maintained dual residences in Iowa and in New York state, as well as dabbled in fiction writing, publishing in early, fiction magazines, such as Telling Tales (1919).

Evans was affiliated with the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery and served as president of the gallery's auxiliary organization, Friends of Art. The artist was the niece of noted Iowa author Alice French (Octave Thanet) and donated her aunt's papers to the Newberry Library in 1951.

Evans resided in Davenport when she died there in April 1953.

When Tillage Begins:The Stone City Art Colony and School, Published online October 2003 by the Busse Library, Mount Mercy University, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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