Painter, illustrator and decorator. A member of “The Eight”, Shinn created a significant body of work in murals for private homes as well as for theaters; he often depicted life in the slums, café society and theater events. The short-lived group known as “The Eight,” who protested the restrictive exhibition policies of the powerful, conservative National Academy of Design. He is best known for his robust paintings of urban life in New York and London, a hallmark of Ashcan art, and for his theater and residential murals and interior-design projects. His style varied considerably over the years, from gritty and realistic to decorative and rococo.
Around 1900, Shinn’s interest turned to painting, and he became associated with the group of artists known as the Ashcan School. He continued his work as an illustrator, but also received two important mural commissions: one for the Stuyvesant Theatre in New York City in 1907, and another for City Hall in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1911. Shinn’s interest in theater led to work as an art director on films such as Sam Goldwyn’s Polly of the Circus (1917). Among the many institutions where Shinn exhibited his paintings and drawings were the Whitney Museum of American Art (1937) and the Art Institute of Chicago (1939), which awarded him the Waston F. Blair Prize at the 18th Annual Watercolor Exhibition. He was a member of the National Academy of Design and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Shinn was involved in “The Nude Wife Posing Scandal of Westport”. Robert Grey Reynolds, Jr wrote : “Everett Shinn’s third wife detailed her grievances in a court of law in 1930. The former Gertrude Chase described having posed for several hours at a time while her husband painted her. It was her objection to him photographing her with a pocket camera that led to a divorce. Gertrude depicted Shinn as a serial philanderer. After she returned home he refused to let her in to collect her belongings.