Thursday, February 27, 2014


New entrance to the Walter Anderson Museum  with the gift shop to the right.
 Photo by Elizabeth Gordon with permission of the museum.                                                                                                      

The stunning new entrance is expansive and majestic.  It opens up to the trees and sky as Walter Anderson would have liked. Nature was  with all its creatures, an  anchor in his life.   In living things he found a world he became almost one with as he lost touch with reality more and more.  He fought mental illness a long time in his life. As he grew older and life challenges harder, he was in and out of mental hospitals like Whitaker in Mississippi. There are even a set of drawings he did of himself and his torment in the facility.  In a way it reminds one of Van Gogh.  They both continued to be highly productive in spite of their mental difficulties Walter Anderson was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia, but his family was told if he had freedom he could function in the world of men.  So the family let him be, he had his own cabin and came and went as he wanted.  In his good periods he would sometimes visit the family and his children, but those times became rarer and rarer and his times away longer and longer. In his era mental illness was not well understood and he was just thought of as the towns crazy person. He had married another artist when times were better and had six children. As he slipped into his own world he saw his family time less and less.
Walter on his skiff sailing to  Hog Island                       Photo with permission of museum

Anderson was born in New Orleans and came from a family of well educated people.  His Mother helped to start Newcombe College. Newcombe also became well known for its school of ceramics and a unique style of pottery.  
He was trained at the Pennsylvania College of Art, and traveled to China and other countries.  The family wanted to raise their children to be artist, so they bought average in Ocean Springs and formed Shearwater Pottery in which all were employed.  Peter, the oldest, ran the pottery and Walter worked developing designs and forms, he called "widgets".  

Walter Anderson's Bicycle
If he was not riding his bike, he was rowing his skiff off to Hog
He was often seen riding his bicycle through the little village of Ocean Springs which drew many artists and writers. 
Detail of Walter Anderson paining of map of bay area of Ocean Springs
Island or Round Island in the Gulf of Mexico.  After his death in 1965 many of his drawings and water colors were found in the sands on the island.  

Hallway from entrance to main part of museum

With the tall ceilings natural lighting pours in from the skylights.
photo by Elizabeth Gordon with permission of the museum.


Gallery hall way leading to left wing

The Famous Skiff that made many trips to Hog Island in all kinds of weather

Turtle Diptych 1960 watercolor with permission of Walter Anderson Museum

Turtle Diptych 1960 watercolor  with permission of Walter Anderson Museum

Alligator Gar  detail

close up of detail of Alligator Gar

detail of Alligator Gar 1960

Sailors on the High Sea
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