Ian Evans has worked as a researcher, writer and publisher on many aspects of the architectural heritage of Australia since 1978.
His original research into the architectural history of Australia in the post–1788 period has resulted in the publication of numerous books on Australian architecture. There are more than 150,000 copies of his books in print today. In producing these books, he has worked with Government authorities such as the NSW Department of Planning, the Queensland Museum and the National Trust.
The authoritative information he has provided has assisted a great many people throughout Australia to care for this country’s heritage of old buildings.
Dr. Evans’s first book, Restoring Old Houses, (Macmillan, 1979) is widely credited with having initiated the conservation movement that developed in the 1980s and continues to the present day.
Throughout his career he has encouraged the conservation of Australia’s architectural heritage in books, periodicals and newspapers, in interviews on radio and television, and in numerous lectures and seminars on the conservation of the built environment. His many books include The Federation House – A Restoration Guide, The Australian Home and Colour Schemes for Old Australian Houses (with Clive Lucas and Ian Stapleton).
He is currently researching apotropaic (evil-averting) marks and deliberately concealed objects in old houses and buildings – an ancient ritual that was unknown in Australia before he discovered it here in 2004. In 2010 he received a PhD from the University of Newcastle for his thesis on this topic.
He is currently Director of the Tasmanian Magic Project and in this capacity he and colleagues are seeking evidence of the material culture of magic in the 19th century. Field research is currently under way on historic properties in the Tasmanian Midlands.
Medal in the Order of Australia (OAM)