Fireplace Study

Fireplace Study

Born in Wales in 1856, Evan D. Evans was an extremely successful studio photographer who made his reputation in Ithaca, New York where he photographed Cornell University students. After moving to Erie, Pennsylvania sometime around 1907-08 for unknown reasons, he established another successful portrait studio there where this study was done. Mimicking the red-light thrown off by light from a fireplace, “Fireplace Study“, the title to this work given by this website, was done chemically by the photographer in the darkroom by toning the photograph using a red dye. Known as a “flashlight” portrait from the period, it was done in the style of “candle-light” effects Evans had perfected earlier in his career, examples being low-key portraits using female models holding candles. One such study he copyrighted in 1899 which was greatly admired was titled “The Light of Expectancy“.

A profile of Evans which touched on his earlier efforts appeared in the Buffalo photographic journal Professional and Amateur Photographer in 1900:

EVAN D. EVANS, Ithaca, N. Y., whose reputation as a photographer is known to more or less people in every State in America, owing principally to the many thousand students of Cornell University, who are largely his patrons, coming, as they do, from every hamlet and city in the United States to this great seat of learning.

Mr. Evans was born in Wales, England, and came here with his parents, settling in Scranton, Pa. Soon after, at the age of eighteen, he began to serve as an apprentice in his brother’s gallery. Later on he held responsible positions as operator in some of the leading galleries until he finally entered into a business for himself in Corning, N. Y.

After building up a lucrative business there he was unfortunately burned out. That brought him to the classic city of lthaca. Here he established the Evans University Art Gallery, nineteen years ago, and soon became famous as a College photographer.

Several of the reproductions in this number are from the fine complimentary exhibit he made at the last National Convention. The striking and unique candle-light effects were greatly admired by the craft who saw them there. Mr. Evans’ pictures go to show that he is a believer in modern (or “freak photography,” as it is sometimes called), as well as the old, plain, straightforward portraiture; he does not confine himself, however, to either school.

Outside of his photographic business he owns one of the finest summer hotels and grounds in Central N. Y., situated four miles from Ithaca, on the shores of Cayuga, the “ Queen of the Lakes.” Here he enjoys life with his family through the dull summer months. (1.)

Evans obituary appeared in the Bulletin of Photography for February after he died in Erie on January 14, 1916:

Evan D. Evans, Erie, Pa., died at 4.30 P. M., January 14th, at the residence of Mrs. Margaret Kennedy, where he lived for the past eight years. Pneumonia was ascribed as the cause of death, Mr. Evans having been ill only six days. Mr. Evans came to this country from Wales when he was twelve years old. His first photographic studio was at Corning, N. Y. When it was destroyed by fire he moved to Ithaca.

Surviving Mr. Evans are two sons, Howard of New York, and Arthur of California, and one daughter, Mrs. Paul Livermore, of Ithaca, N. Y.
Mr. Evans had been ailing for some time previous to last week, and in his weakened condition was unable to resist the ravages of the disease which attacked him. He was sixty years old, and a progressive member of the Board of Commerce, as well as a Mason and a leader in the Rotary Club. Funeral services were held January 16th, after which the body was shipped to Ithaca, N. Y., for burial. (2.)

print notes recto: signed in white ink at right corner of print: Evan D. Evans .. (possibly also 11 for 1911?); small red and gilt studio sticker adhered to upper left corner of secondary support: The Studio of Evan D. Evans  Erie, PA.; condition: silvering to print margins; closed tear to margin of secondary support.

print notes verso: in graphite in unknown hand: 2711 Woo(d) + gilt    Nash   75 ¢

provenance: Acquired for archive in 2015 from seller located in Binghampton, New York.

1.  Prominent Photographer of the Year: Evan D. Evans, Ithaca, N.Y.: from: The Professional and Amateur Photographer, Buffalo: March, 1900; pp. 73-74. The hotel referred to in the article was The Glenwood Hotel.
2. Bulletin of Photography: Philadelphia: Feb. 2, 1916 p. 151. Evans is buried in Lake View Cemetery in Ithaca, N.Y.

Fireplace Study

Image Dimensions16.3 x 11.3 cm | 19.4 x 14.3 cm tipped along top margin

Support Dimensions21.4 x 15.6 cm black paper | 28.8 x 21.5 cm brown cardstock