The son of an artist, he was born at home (7 September 1859 GRO) at 16 Great Chapel Street, Westminster and lived in London and studied at the RA Schools. His father was also an artist, Henry McNamara Evans, born in Ireland c 1832. His mother was Bridget Delaney (late Mason) born in Ireland c 1823.
Frederick began his working life as a bookbinder while studying at the Schools of the Royal Institute of Painters in watercolour, and in the Royal Architectural Museum. His mother now dead, he and his father moved house to 12 Arlington Square, Islington. When his father remarried, FME took up residence in Newlyn living in Gwavas Lane, though he continued to give his father's London address for sending-in purposes until 1894. The following year his father died, and Frederick was in attendance at the first meeting of the new Newlyn Art Gallery in Cornwall. A Message for Nurse and Offer of Marriage were exhibited at the RA in 1892, by which time he was already closely associated with the Newlyn Art colony.
By1901 Census FME was boarding at 5 Coulsons Terrace, Penzance with the Ficklin couple there. Ten years later his address is given as The Penzance Club, Morrab Road which continued until 1914. For the duration of WWI he was living and working in London, but returned to Cornwall thereafter. In 1929 he was lodging at 1 Redinnick Terrace, Penzance. He died following a long illness in West Cornwall Hospital, and is buried in Penzance Cemetery in a recorded by unmarked grave near that of Harold HARVEY.
In 1914 he also exhibited work in the March Show Day at St Ives. From 1895 . In The Cornishman (1926) report of the Summer Exhibition that year, he was listed as 'F M Evans', 'a gifted veteran who still exhibits memorable work.' Despite little personal information, and only comments in-passing in others' biographies, Evans remained associated with the Colony longer than most, and died in Penzance, aged 69, on 27 August, 1929 (GRO).
In attendance at his funeral amongst the crowd, were Stanhope FORBES, T C GOTCH and J C UREN who had with him exhibited at the first exhibition of the Newlyn Art Gallery. Amongst the tributes was one "In affectionate remembrance and esteem from his old friends and colleagues of the Newlyn Society of Artists." Unlike many of the Newlyn artists who apparently came from wealthy families he was clearly influenced his more modest background, supporting himself by selling the portrait heads for which he became noted. His hobbies were given as billiards and bowls.
Painter of genre scenes and portraits, primarily in watercolour
works and access
Works include: A Frugal Meal (1888); The Boats, Lantoni (c1895); Local News and A Stitch in time (c1895); Old Fisherman and his Wife; The First Steps (1889); Telling stories of the Sea (1902); Waiting for a bite (1902); Flute Obligato (1902); Boats in Harbour (1905); Newlyn (1907); Newlyn Slip (1908); Affliction (1909); Fisherman (1910); Man Threading Cork Floats and Man Beating Nets (latter both exhibited 2005)
Access to work: Penlee House, Penzance; Maidstone Art Gallery
BI; GOU; LI; MC: RA (12); RI (23)
NAG Opening 1895
Market Hall, Penzance 1917, Great Exhibition and Sale of Work 1921-1926
Penlee House Faces of Cornwall Show 2005
The Penzance Club;
Penzance Bowls Club
misc further info
With many thanks to Richard Holloway for sending in detailed information of FME's movements over his lifetime. His information, with further detail, will be filed in the West Cornwall Art Archive.
Cornish Telegraph 25 Mar 1909
St Ives Times, 27 Apr 1914, 4 May 1914
Dowdeswells Exhibition catalogue (repr Hardie 2009)
Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn: Diary of a Gallery;
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p180 b/w repr of Caught Napping);
Johnson & Greutzner (1975) Dictionary of British Artists
Whitechapel Exhibiyion catalogue (repr Hardie 2009)
Wood (1995) Victorian Painters