Philip Evergood

American, 1901–1973

Saturday’s Children, 1954

Oil on board

47½ x 25 inches

Signed lower right

Evergood was born Philip Howard Blashki in New York to a painter father and a wealthy English mother. His family moved to London when he was eight so he could receive an English boarding school education. After changing his name and attending Eton, Evergood concentrated on drawing and sculpture at the Slade School of Art in London before returning to New York in 1923. In the 1930s Evergood became known as a Social Realist, and in 1933 his interest in social activism led him to the WPA’s Federal Arts Project.

Evergood’s paintings often featured skewed perspective, attention to detail, and a deliberate naiveté that stylistically supported his interest in the problems of struggling Americans, especially children. In Saturday’s Children Evergood fully realized the potential of his style: as the big brother keeps his sister close, their vacant stares are echoed by the strange doll and amplify their vulnerability. The idiosyncratic depiction of space enhances the sense of the children as two lost souls unsure of their place in the world.