Everett Shinn (1876-1953)
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Fire on Mott Street, 1902

Sixth Avenue Elevated After Midnight, 1899

Everett Shinn was a key figure in the turn of the century realist group that would come to be known as the Ash Can School. Born in New Jersey, he received his artistic training at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and by age seventeen had begun his career in illustration with the Philadelphia Press. This vocation proved as instructive to his fine art career as any formal training. The newspaper and magazine work served not only to pay the bills, but also as the core of his artistic practices and subject matter. Shinn’s newspaper work introduced him to George Luks, John Sloan, and William Glackens. By 1898, Shinn had moved to New York, where he and the rest of the Philadelphia Four joined the growing realist group around Robert Henri. Henri championed the life of the streets as subject matter for the twentieth century. Henri, Shinn, and others of the group of urban illustrator-artists would show together as The Eight in 1908 at Macbeth Galleries. The initial show of The Eight brought art world acclaim to this distinctly American movement, and even as appetite for modernism eclipsed the Ash Can movement with the 1913 Armory Show, Shinn continued to mine the urban landscape for his vibrantly beautiful images until his death in 1953.