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    JOE EVANS (American, 1857-1898)
    Forest Opening with Lake in the Distance, 1884
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 22 inches (40.6 x 55.9 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: Joe Evans / 1884


    One of the finest works in the Williford collection is Dennis Miller Bunker's remarkable Portrait of Kenneth Cranford (1884), which The Jean and Graham Devoe Williford Foundation has placed on long-term loan to the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. In the portrait of his artist-friend, Bunker showed Cranford seated at the easel, engaging the viewer with marvelous candor. The riveting likeness confirms the promise of the talented Bunker who died prematurely at age 29. Graham Williford seems to have discovered Bunker's quite scarce work during the 1980s, and collected his paintings and drawings as they became available. He probably acquired this sensitive landscape by Joe Evans as an extension of his interest in Bunker, since Bunker and Evans were close friends--and both died young. Evans was born in New York City, and was a frequent painting companion of Bunker's. He studied at the National Academy of Design, and beginning in 1877, with Jean Leon Gerome for three years at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. According to a tribute to the artist in The Critic following his death at the age of 40 in 1898, Evans served "for more than one term" as president of the Art Students League in New York, and was also Secretary of the Society of American Artists. The tribute noted, "He was an invalid his entire life, but without complaint, a buoyant personality. It was in his exquisitely painted landscapes that one found the melancholy..." Despite an impressive exhibition record (Society of American Artists; Art Institute of Chicago, 1890; National Academy of Design, 1890-1895; and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1894, 1895 and 1898) his work is even scarcer than Bunker's. This is a particularly fine example.

    Condition Report*: Glue-lined canvas; surface dirt; pigments appear to be slightly flattened, possibly due to relining; under UV exam, there appears to be inpainting along all four extreme edges to address frame wear. Framed Dimensions 22 X 28 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2014
    10th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,266

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