A member of the Ashcan School, a group of Social Realists also called the Eight, Everett Shinn was one of the earliest American modernists, creating gritty realist paintings that depicted urban life among the working classes, always striving to give his work a sense of immediacy. Even a trip to Paris found him painting, not the usual tourist attractions and artists icons like Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower, but instead the suburbs of Paris where the lower middle and serving classes lived. Shinn began his career as a newspaper illustrator while painting on the side. With the financial help of his more successful artist wife, he traveled to Europe, which had a marked effect on his work. Shinn experimented with a variety of media, including oil, gouache, and watercolors, but became particularly adept with pastels. Married four times by 1933, Shinn was a frequent victim of the tabloids and his reputation and income suffered during the Great Depression; from 1910 to 1937, he participated in only one exhibition. After World War II, he was rediscovered as a major artist, receiving several awards and participating in a number of exhibitions before his death in 1953.