Tony Vevers

Tony Vevers
(1926-2008)

Education:
Yale University, BA, 1950
Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence, Italy, 1950-51
Instituto Statale d’Arte, Florence, Italy, 1950-51
Hans Hofmann School, New York, 1952-53

Selected Collections:
Issac Delgardo Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Union Carbide Corporation, New York, NY
Argus Chemical Corporation, New York, NY
AT&T Corporation, Boston, MA
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
Farleigh-Dickinson University, NJ
Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN
Walter Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA
Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA

Awards:
Citation for service to the arts, Public Action on the Arts, Boston, MA
Sponsor’s Prize, 23rd Annual, Hunterdon Art Center, Clinton, NJ
Best of Show Award, Sugar Creek Biannual, Crawfordsville, IN
$1,000 Prize, N.E. Painting & Sculpture, Provincetown and Boston, MA
XL Grant, Purdue University
National Council on Art and Humanities Grant
Walter Gutman Foundation Grant

Biography:
Professor of Art and Art History at Purdue University in Indiana and a highly respected and well-loved artist with deep roots in Provincetown, Tony Vevers’ contributions to the art world and to the arts in his adopted home are legendary. His figurative and landscape paintings from the 1950s and ’60s have a simplicity and purity that marry narrative and formal eloquence. In the 1970s he began working with rope and sand, creating poetic canvases of mysterious beauty.

Born in London in 1926, Tony and his sister were evacuated to the U.S. in 1940 to escape the Blitz during World War II. By 1944 Vevers was serving in the U.S. Army, in Germany, and had achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant when he was honorably discharged. After leaving the army in 1946, Tony entered Yale University on the G.I. Bill where he studied art, graduating in 1950.

In the early 1950s Tony traveled to Italy to study art, and later lived in New York where he met many of the first generation Abstract Expressionist painters. In 1953 he met and married the artist, Elspeth Halvorsen. By 1954 Tony and Elspeth had established themselves in Provincetown and their two daughters were born over the next three years.

Although Vevers taught at Purdue University from 1964 to 1988, it was the summers in Provincetown that fed his creative spirit.

His astute insights into Modernism as it spread from New York and into Provincetown were fueled by his connection with virtually every artist who had been part of that era including Edwin Dickinson, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Jack Tworkov and Robert Motherwell. As Museum Director Chris McCarthy stated, “It is hard to imagine anyone who has had a more consistent hand in the life of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum over the past four decades. Tony’s insights and contributions to writing the history of art in Provincetown are unparalleled.”

Tony Vevers exhibited his work in over one hundred solo and group shows in New York, Boston, Provincetown and throughout the U.S. In 1977 he became one of the founding members and president of Provincetown’s legendary Long Point Gallery. His work is in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, the Walter Chrysler Museum, the DeCordova Museum, the University of Massachusetts and many others.

He received awards from the National Council on the Arts and the Walter Gutman Foundation. He served as an advisor to the Fine Arts Work Center and as a trustee and curator of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.