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John Cuthbert

May 2013
HC/J 978-0-975292-52-5 


Virginia B. Evans (1894–1983) was an important figure in the field of art in the Upper Ohio Valley during the mid-twentieth century. A native of Moundsville, West Virginia, Evans was a talented impressionist and abstract expressionist painter, a skillful designer of art deco glass, and a teacher. 

Virginia B. Evans tells the story of this often overlooked, yet remarkable artist. Educated, willful, strongly opinionated, and independent, she enjoyed considerable acclaim in the Ohio Valley region of West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and beyond. Because of her focus on professional achievement and her disregard for the cultural and societal expectations of her era, she was often the subject of scorn and suspicion. Yet undaunted, she devoted her life to the field she loved, facilitated by a distinctive talent and unbridled energy.

Through an analysis of primary resources including correspondence, memoirs, newspaper articles, photographs, and other documents, Virginia B. Evans elucidates the compelling life and work of a versatile artist.


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John A. Cuthbert is the Director of West Virginia and Regional History Center at West Virginia University Libraries. He is the author of David Hunter Strother: One of the Best Draughtsmen the Country Possesses, Early Art and Artists in West Virginia, and Richard Kidwell Miller.


"Before John Cuthbert published his Early Art and Artists of West Virginia in 2000, the artistic contributions of the state were essentially unexplored territory. Now Cuthbert has followed up his ground-breaking achievement with an in depth study of one of the state's finest and most well-rounded artists, Virginia B. Evans.  Cuthbert details her life story and the admirable variety of her themes--landscapes, domestic scenes, figure and portrait imagery, and pastoral and industrial subjects, while also demonstrating her increasingly free brushwork and exciting color symphonies.  Cuthbert  follows Evans's travels, both domestic and worldwide, while always returning her to the beautiful images she created in her native state. He has also introduced her unique involvement with the designs she contributed to Imperial Glass."
William H. Gerdts, Professor Emeritus of Art History,Graduate School of the City University of New York