Jane Beverly Evans, the eldest child of Dr. James D. Evans and Marie Antoinette Powell Evans, was born in 1866. The Evans family had settled in South Carolina before the Revolutionary War, and trace their descent back through the Welsh prince of Furlvs to King Arthur’s Round Table. Dr. James D. Evans was one of the founders of Florence County and his daughter Jane spent much of her life living in the city of Florence. Though her education and her art took her around the world, Jane Beverly Evans remained loyal to Florence and to the museum she established.
Jane Evans studied painting in Washington D.C. at the Corcoran School of Art, in Boston at the Boston Conservatory School of Music and Art, and at the Art Students League in New York City.
Miss Jane, as those around town knew her, was fortunate enough to travel the world, which was her inspiration for the Florence Museum. From 1924 – 1929, she visited Taos, New Mexico where she created numerous drawing and paintings documenting the people and landscape. She also acquired the first objects for the museum during her visit to the southwest. After returning home from her visit, Miss Jane dedicated her time to the Florence Museum acquiring objects, arranging lectures and installing exhibits in the basement of the Florence County Library Building on Pine and Irby Streets.
Miss Jane spent much of her time campaigning for the newly formed Florence Museum. Many hours were spent organizing fundraising events; a local favorite was her “living Pictures” or Tableaux Vivants.
Miss Jane used her extensive postcard collection from around the world to choose old master paintings to recreate their images. Many hours were spent gluing feathers, powdering faces and adding glitter to costumes. Photographs were taken of the living pictures and sold to community members. Enough funds were raised to purchase proper display cases for the museums growing collection of objects of world cultures.
Miss Jane continued her support and advocacy for the Florence Museum until her death in 1950. In 1952 with the help of her brother James, the Museum was able to purchase the Sanborn Chase home on Spruce Street.