Frederick H. Evans, friend of George Bernard Shaw and Aubrey Beardsley, retired from his successful business as a London bookseller in 1898 to devote himself entirely to photography. His exquisite platinum prints of English and French cathedrals, parish churches, chateaux, woodlands, and landscapes established his lasting reputation as a pure photographer at a time when the manipulated gum print was the accepted medium of the London photographic salons and clubs. Evans was an elected Fellow of the Linked Ring, the most prestigious London photographic salon of the early 1900s, and his work was exhibited also at the Royal Photographic Society, the London Camera Club, and Hampshire House, among others. Alfred Stieglitz showed Evans's photographs in 1906 at the Little Galleries of the Photo Secession in New York, published gravure reproductions of a group of cathedral images in Camera Work in 1903 and 1904, and selected eleven prints for the International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography at the Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, in 1910. Evans worked chiefly with the platinum print, a delicate medium with extremely subtle tonal gradations. He began making gelatin bromide prints only after the start of World War I, when it was no longer possible to obtain platinum papers. Evans had many talents and interests. His innovations in exhibition design and decorative mounts for photographs were widely copied. He was an avid pianola player, for which he cut his own rolls. His other activities included critical writing about photography, and the publication of platinum print reproductions of Holbein's Dance of Death, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Grotesques by Aubrey Beardsley, and Blake's illustrations to Virgil.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Detroit Institute of Arts
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Baltimore Museum of Art