Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Most Famous American Master You Never Heard Of!

photo by Elizabeth Gordon at Community Center of Ocean Springs
An Unknown American Master of Our Times

As it took a hundred years or so for Vincent Van Gogh to become famous and for his pictures to finally sell, many artists are not known as masters in their own time and how artists become important and collected is not always a direct path-there are many factors that come into play.

Anhinga Drying his Wings  Walter Anderson Museum of Art
photo by elizabeth gordon
The Rising of the Phoenix
Ocean Springs Community  Center

Palmettos of the Gulf Coast
Mural in Ocean Springs Community Center

Anderson's Ever On Going Parade of Nature

Mr. Pelican who filled his bill as fast as his belly can......
Blue Cat Prowling
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Ann viewing Mural at Ocean Springs Community Center

collection case
Walter Anderson was born on September 29, 1903 and died November 30,1965.  He showed great talent as a very young boy.  His parents sent him to the Philadelphia school of art where he chose to draw animals at the zoo rather that the assignments his art professors had instructed.  He won a fellowship to study art in Europe after which he returned to Ocean Springs to live.  He married and had four children, but during that time he became ever reclusive rowing out to Horn Island and staying long periods of time.  He even lashed himself to a tree to watch the force of a hurricane on the island.  
Interior of Shearwater Pottery Studio

photo by Elizabeth Gordon          Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Gallery Room over looking the Gulf
His mental condition deteriorated over the years to the point he even requested to be committed. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Even during his treatment he continued to draw.  His love of nature and animals turned into thousands of drawings and paintings, some of which was found buried under the sand on Horn Island after his death. His bond with nature was so strong that he almost became one with the rhythm of life.  His wife and children were never allowed into his studio and after his death they discovered an amazing room that was painted like the creation.  The room was saved and is now shown at the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Collections room in Shearwater Pottery

Distinctive Stylized style of Walter Anderson 

photo by Elizabeth Gordon

His family is a large one with brothers, sisters, and children and grandchildren involved in the making of art.  Shearwater Pottery started by his brother Peter Anderson, is still a very active studio and business.  The original molds and print blocks are still made and sold.  People from all over, that know the work, have large collections. 
Peter Anderson, Founder with his Mother of Shearwater Pottery
photo by Elizabeth Gordon at  Shearwater Pottery 

There is also an art gallery called Realizations that is owned by his four children who sell his prints and copies of his paintings and are very creative in the marketing of his art product.

Shearwater Pottery Collection        Rooster tea Pot            photo by elizabeth gordon

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