Everett Shinn (1876–1953) was a painter and illustrator and a member of THE EIGHT. From Woodstown, N.J., he worked as a designer for a gas-fixtures company in Philadelphia from 1890 to 1893, after studying industrial design. After deciding that he preferred fine arts, he took courses at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts between 1893 and 1897, and, at the same time, worked as a reporter-artist for the Philadelphia Press. During these years, he met the future members of THE EIGHT.
He moved to New York City in 1897 and continued his career as an illustrator and an artist. Altogether, he illustrated twenty-eight books and ninety-four magazine stories in addition to making cartoons and newspaper illustrations.
About 1899 he made the first of a series of murals and large panel for private houses and, in 1907, he painted eighteen panel for the Stuyvesant Theater. In 1911 he completed murals on local industrial themes in the Trenton, New Jersey City Hall.
From 1917 to about 1923, he worked for motion-picture companies as an art director. In his paintings, he found subject matter in the slums as well as in middle-class café society and in theatrical activities (Theater Box, 1906, AK). His theater scenes were usually done in oil, his slum and lower-class pictures in pastel. Unlike JOHN SLOAN, who felt a genuine reformer’s commitment to lower-class urban themes, Shinn viewed the entire city as a bright, glittering spectacle to savor and to enjoy until the end of his life. His art reflects the influences of Honoré Daumier, Edgar Degas, and Jean-Louis Forain.
Edith Shazo, Everett Shinn, 1974.
Excerpted from Matthew Baigel, Dictionary of American Art, Harper & Row Publishers; New York, 1979.