Tom Everhart was born on May 21, 1952 in Washington, D.C. He began his undergraduate studies at the Yale University of Art and Architecture in 1970. In 1972 he participated in an independent study program under Earl Hoffman at St. Mary’s College. He returned to the Yale School of Art and Architecture in 1974 where he completed his graduate work in 1976, followed by post-graduate studies at the Musee de l’Orangerie, in Paris. He taught Life Drawing and Painting, briefly from 1979 to 1980, at Antioch College.
In 1980, Tom Everhart was introduced to cartoonist Charles M. Schulz at Schulz’s studios in Santa Rosa, California. A few weeks prior to their meeting, Everhart, having absolutely no education in cartooning, found himself involved in a freelance project that required him to draw and present Peanuts renderings to Schulz’s studios. Preparing as he would the drawings and studies for his large-scale skeleton / nature related paintings; he blew up some of the cartoonist’s strips on a twenty-five foot wall in his studio which eliminated the perimeter lines of the cartoon box, leaving only the marks of the cartoonist. Schulz’s painterly pen stroke, now larger than life, translated into painterly brush strokes and was now a language that overwhelmingly connected to Everhart’s own form of expression and communication. Completely impressed with Schulz’s line, he was able to reproduce the line art almost exactly, which in turn impressed Schulz at their meeting. It was directly at this time that Everhart confirmed his obsession with Schulz’s line art style and their ongoing relationship of friendship and education of his line construction.
A few years later, while still painting full-time on his previous body of work in his East Village studio, Everhart began drawing special projects for Schulz both in New York and Tokyo. These authentic Schulz-style drawings included covers and interiors of magazines, art for the White House, and the majority of the MetLife campaign. When Everhart was not painting, he was now considered to be the only fine artist authorized and educated by Schulz to draw the actual Schulz line.
The paintings using the influence of Charles Schulz’s comic strip, Peanuts, as visual subject matter began and replaced the skeleton and nature related paintings in 1988. The inspiration came to Everhart in Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was undergoing several operations for stage 4 colon / liver cancer in the summer of 1988. Everhart recalls lying in a hospital bed surrounded by enough flowers to open a florist shop, piles of art books and a stack of Peanuts comic strips sent to him by Schulz. The light streaming in from the window almost projected the new images of his future Schulz inspired paintings on the wall. All the imagery in Everhart’s work, are in some respect derived from Schulz’s design of pictorial space.
In January 1990 Everhart’s Schulz related work went on to show at the Louvre in Paris and subsequently in Los Angeles at the L.A. County Museum of Natural History, Montreal at the Museum of Fine Arts, Tokyo, Japan at the Suntory Museum of Art, Osaka, Rome, Venice, Milan, Minneapolis, Baltimore, New York, Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and in Santa Rosa California at the Charles M. Schulz Museum.
In 1991, Charles Schulz and United Media drafted a legal agreement to allow Tom Everhart to use visual subject matter from Schulz’s Peanuts strip in his art for “the term of his life”.
In 1992, Pigpen’s Dirtballs a 72” x 128” painting was filmed with the artist in progress for the CBS special “The Fabulous Funnies”. A series of four lithographs were published in 1996 and a series of four more lithographs entitled, To Every Dog There Is A Season followed in 1997. Over the next ten years Tom Everhart would create an astonishing body of lithography work consisting of over seventy-four lithographs.
In 1997, Snoopy, Not Your Average Dog, published by HarperCollins, featured an essay and reproductions of Tom Everhart’s Schulz inspired paintings.
In 2000, his first solo museum show was launched at the Suntory Museum of Art in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. The Exhibition traveled to five other locations in Japan until the year 2002.