Donald Evans [1945-1977]
In a general sense, Donald Evans and I are contemporaries, both born in 1945. Coincidentally, we both studied architecture – he at Cornell, me at the more affordable University of Oklahoma – though he got somewhat farther along the path to licensure, working for some time in the NYC office of Richard Meier. I would never have made it that far, nor would I have survived in Meier’s employ. Apparently neither did Evans, for he moved to Amsterdam and lived an artist’s reclusive life, painting minute watercolors of postage stamps. He died in a hotel fire in 1977.
Evans has been mentioned here once before but I’m thinking of him again this afternoon, wondering where life’s trajectory might have taken him. What connects us, besides a year and professional path, is the odd desire to create imaginary places. Evans conceived more than forty countries — many of them island nations overlooked by all but cartographers of the imagination, dare I say it?, like myself. Oh, that we had one of his works in the Community Collection!
Do you suppose there is a monument to Evans in Amsterdam, that long-time haven for those who don’t fit elsewhere? I wonder today if there isn’t already a memorial on the steps of Agincourt’s post office, dropped on its way to the mailbox, eternally on its way and evading the “dead letter” box.
Would anyone like to design something in his memory?