Henry Darger
Colonel Jack F Evans
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  • Henry Darger (1892–1973)
  • Chicago
  • Mid-20th century
  • Watercolor, pencil, ink, and collage on board
  • 13 3/4 x 11 1/2 in.
  • American Folk Art Museum purchase, 2002.22.5
  • Colonel Jack Francis Evans, according to the surrounding inscriptions, is an Angelinian officer and guardian of the heroic Vivian Girls, the protagonists of Darger’s epic novel. In the end, good triumphs over evil, and after much death and destruction, the enslaved children are saved and their captors defeated. When he first aided the Vivian Girls, Evans was a lieutenant. He was promoted in rank to captain and then colonel, and, following another war, to general. Darger wrote that Evans was older and fiercer than he looked in the picture, and that he was, in addition, a pugilist.

    To create Colonel Evans, Darger appropriated and reconfigured the printed image of an unidentified military figure from a newspaper or magazine clipping. Despite the elaborate military regalia he wears, the colonel appears androgynous and gentle, with the face of a lovely young woman or innocent young man.
  • © Kiyoko Lerner; photo by Gavin Ashworth