Joseph A. F. Everett: Mormon Artist
Joseph Alma Freestone Everett was a muralist and watercolorist. To support his family, he worked as an assistant pharmacist and later as a draftsman for the Oregon Short Line Railroad in its Salt Lake Engineering department. He also accepted commissions to paint scenery for the old Salt Lake Theatre. He finally quit his full-time work in 1932 to pursue his art and to teach art. He cofounded an art school in the Lion House and taught the children of prominent families.
Everett was born in 1883 in Salt Lake City. He studied art with John Hafen, James T. Harwood, Lee Greene Richards, Lewis Ramsey, Danquart Weggeland, and George Ottinger in Utah and then studied watercolor with E. A. Smith at the Kensington School of Art. He also studied in Paris, and in New York he studied under muralist Kenyon Cox.
Everett preferred to capture the common, everyday subjects, the undramatic scenes from the Salt Lake Valley and the canyons, such as “Main Street at South Temple, Salt Lake City, 1940” and “Old Salt Lake Theater, 1943.” According to the Deseret News, “Values are sometimes so pale that Everett defined edges and shaded areas by using a pencil on top of the paint. This is particularly noticeable in "Cathedral of the Madeleine, 1941," "Cows in Winter" and "Hollyhocks.” He also created works where the paint has been applied freely and exuberantly, such as "Flowers in Vase, 1942" and "Snowy River Scene, 1940s."
Everett served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England and served under future Church president Heber J. Grant. President Grant was one of Everett’s benefactors and patrons; Everett taught private lessons to Grant’s children.
He died in 1945.