Lillian Evans was born in Washington, DC to a cultured, well-educated, middle-class family. She was the first African American woman to sing opera with an organized European company. Her mother was Annie Lillian Brooks Evans, a music teacher in the DC public school system, and her father was Wilson Bruce Evans, organizer and first principal of Armstrong Technical High School in Washington, DC. Hiram Revels, the first black U.S. senator, was her great-uncle and two other family members are credited with taking part in John Borwn's raid on Harper's Ferry. She married Howard University music professor, Roy W. Tibbs in 1918. Her stage name, Madame Evanti, is a combination of her last name and her husband's. Evans had one child, Thurlow Tibbs Sr., and two grandchildren, Diane Elizabeth and Thurlow Evans Tibbs. Thurlow Jr., operated a museum, The Evans-Tibbs Collection, which centered around the life of Lillian Evans until 1996, a year before his death.
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Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Evans-Tibbs collection, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of the Estate of Thurlow E. Tibbs, Jr.
Artist files include correspondence, writings, manuscripts, diaries, and printed material relating to many notable artists involved with the National Academy of Design, including Timothy Cole, Moseley Isaac Danforth, Asher B. Durand, Rembrandt Peale, John Singer Sargent, Benjamin West, and Worthington Whittredge.
The bulk of the material consists of correspondence and memoranda related to the nomination and acceptance of individual artists as associates and academicians of the National Academy of Design, and documents the involvement of artists as both recipients of nominations as well as in the capacity of nominating and seconding colleagues.
Other material includes files on specific donor bequests resulting in the disposition of artwork by William Stanley Haseltine, Kenyon Cox, and William Trost Richards, to various art institutions throughout the United States. These files contain correspondence with the donors and recipient institutions, and lists of the artwork dispersed through these bequests.
In addition to the above, other records of particular note include: correspondence and transcripts of extensive and detailed letters from Timothy Cole about many aspects of his life and work; two notebooks belonging to Asher B. Durand, containing notes and sketches from anatomy lectures; Rembrandt Peale files, which contain technical painting notes and an extensive lecture titled, "Notes of the Painting Room;" and two notebooks belonging to Daniel Huntington with lists of pictures. Records relating to Moseley Isaac Danforth include correspondence with Danforth followed by correspondence with his descendants regarding the disposition of his papers and other items in his estate. Also found is a diary recording Danforth's 1827 journey to England and notes on his education at the Royal Academy, records of bills and accounts from that time period, and biographical material including examples of Danforth's bank note engravings and a handwritten copy of his will.
Records are arranged alphabetically by name of artist, primarily in files spanning a range of artists, whose names are listed at the folder level. Some artists are represented in individual named files housed at the beginning of the letter of the alphabet to which they belong, with occasional sub-files arranged by subject as necessary.
This bulk of this collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
National Academy of Design records, 1817-2012. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.