Artist Profile: Katherine Evans


First Featured Artist at the Washington Island Art and Nature Center

Katherine Evans, an accomplished Illustrator was highlighted in the very first show at the Art and Nature Center in 1965. She is well known as the Illustrator of the children's book, "The Littlest Angel" which has become the fifteenth best-selling children's book of all time, including it's numerous editions.


Katherine Floyd Evans, born in Sedalia, MO in 1899, was multi-talented, fearless yet ladylike, whimsical, and a keenly intelligent artist who came to the Island with her family for the summers in the early 1900's. Her parents came up to the Island from Missouri on the Goodrich boats, leaving from Chicago and arriving in Washington Harbor. In the early days, they stayed at the White House but then bought a home on Detroit Harbor that is still owned by the family.

She studied in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, in the Art Colony in Provincetown, and at the Chicago Art Institute.


She was always an artist . . . drawing, painting, sculpting . . . but when her husband died she made a living for herself and her two children as a children's book writer and illustrator. Traveling the world for up close and personal views of Mexicans, Ethiopians, Parisians, West Africans, and others, she illustrated more than 75 books for children and used many of those experiences to inspire her paintings and her life.

She passed away in her summer home on Detroit Harbor in 1964 surrounded by the natural beauty that meant so much to her.


Many Thanks to Katie West and David Evans for sharing their history, photos and illustrations. If you are interested, check out your local library where many of her books are still available.