Friday, March 10, 2017
DONALD EVANS AND HIS FANTASTIC WORLD OF POSTAGE STAMPS
This week's arts and culture piece is on a wonderful, heretofore-unknown-to-me artist: Donald Evans.
Here's how it begins:
Donald Evans (1945-1977) “put his whole life and everything that interested him into the stamps of his fantasy world.” So says Willy Eisenhart, author of the wonderful “The World of Donald Evans.”
Evans was born in Morristown, New Jersey, to Dorothy and Charles Evans.
An only child, he grew up in a stable, prosperous and loving middle-class family. He liked to play alone. An older neighbor introduced him to stamp collecting when he was 6. He spent hours poring over the stamps, memorizing the names of the countries and capitals of the world, learning about the flags, currency, local customs and flora and fauna of fiefdoms, dictatorships and obscure islands.
His best friend for a time was Charles Fisk, who came from old money and whose well-traveled family, Evans recalled, “had a fascinating house full of collections of things and lots of encyclopedias.” The two boys built elaborate sand castles and palaces, made maps and calendars and invented characters. Charles’ was named Uncle Rich Harvest. Donald called his character The Queen.
When Donald was 10, he found he could render the places in his imagination “more real by making stamps from them and little letters.” He outlined the stamps in pencil, filled them in with pen and brush and made the perforations by pummeling out rows of periods on an old typewriter.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.