Minnie Evans

1892–1987

Minnie Evans was active and lived in Wilmington, N.C. She is best known for her abstract, naive crayon drawings, religious and mystical works. She was born in 1892 in Long Creek, N.C., and died in Wilmington.

Evans worked as a gatekeeper at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, N.C., in the 1930s. Her artwork was based on what she was familiar with: the plant life of the garden and her love of God. An important American visionary artist of the 20th century, Evans saw her works being widely collected and exhibited, including a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum in 1975.

Evans received no formal training. She said that she never planned a drawing, they just happened. Most of her characters and scenes came from her dreams. Evans was just as surprised as anyone with what she produced. She was discovered by Nina Starr, a photography graduate student who organized shows for Evans’ work in Wilmington and New York.

Quite prolific, Evans produced thousands of drawings over her career.

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