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Philip Evergood
Woman at the Piano
1955
oil
60 x 36 1/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.



At first, Woman at the Piano seems poised and sophisticated, but a closer look reveals Evergood's satirical edge. The vase, which echoes the singer's dress, holds a fussy fern instead of flowers. The snarl of black notes on the musical score suggests ear-piercing noise rather than tuneful song. But relief is on the way, for the massive grand piano is sliding across the floor as if to sweep the singer off her feet.