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Walter Anderson Museum Of Art

The Sculptor: Zach Harris

The Landscape: Real & Imagined

Zachary Harris, a native of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, received his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Sculpture from Mississippi State University in 2011 and a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Georgia in 2018. Harris invites participants and viewers to experience a familiar space in a new way and believes his objects impact the viewer by enhancing their surrounding environment.

Walter Anderson Museum Of Art

Walter Anderson Museum of Art

Established
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The Walter Anderson Museum of Art is located in Ocean Springs, Mississippi on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. WAMA is dedicated to the work of Walter Inglis Anderson , whose depictions of coastal plants, animals, landscapes, and people have placed him among the most singular artists of the 20th century and to his brothers, Peter Anderson , potter and founder of Shearwater Pottery and James McConnell Anderson , painter and ceramist. The mission of the museum is to empower lifelong curiosity and connection to the natural world through the art of Walter Anderson and kindred artists.

The Artist Walter Anderson

A small unassuming museum in the small Coastal Mississippi town of Ocean Springs, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art is not to be missed. I was enchanted by this museum when I visited the US Gulf Coast. The story of this artist is compelling and a tale of lifelong struggle with deep depression. An artist gripped with mental health issues may face challenges in his or her career but inevitably, from this turmoil often comes unabashed beauty and creativity.

Artist, naturalist and mystic is an exhibition of the work of Walter Inglis Anderson spanning his careers as an American modernist, watercolourist, pottery decorator and linoleum block printmaker. Described as an artist-philosopher, he interspersed the Gulf Coast landscape with stories from mythology to mysticism. You can see how his murals tell a story about history and myth in the powerful murals of the Ocean Springs Community Center. This is a MUST-SEE museum on your travels to Coastal Mississippi.

The Walter Anderson Museum of Art opened in 1991 dedicated to celebrating the masterworks of Walter Inglis Anderson , his brothers, Peter Anderson master potter and founder of Shearwater Pottery and James McConnell Anderson , noted painter and ceramist. When we visited, there was also an exhibit of his great grandsons work as a tattoo artist. These images were bold and beautiful as were those of his ancestor.

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Early Life And Education

Anderson was born in New Orleans to George Walter Anderson, a grain broker, and Annette McConnell Anderson, a prominent New Orleans family member who had studied art at Newcomb College. He was the second of three brothers, the eldest being Peter Anderson and the youngest James McConnell “Mac” Anderson.

As a child, Anderson attended St. Johns School in Manilus, New York until his schooling was interrupted at age 14 by World War I. He then transferred to the Manual Training School in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In 1922 he enrolled at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art . After a year at Parsons, he won a scholarship to study at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Here he would study under iconoclastic modernists like Henry McCarter, Hugh Breckenridge, and Arthur Carles, winning a Packard Award for his animal drawing and a Cresson Traveling Scholarship, which allowed him to spend a summer in France. While in France, Anderson was particularly impressed with cave paintings, which noticeably influenced his drawing style.

Walter Anderson As A Writer

Walter Anderson Museum Of Art

Among Anderson’s most vivid writings are logbooks recording his travels by bicycle to New York City New Orleans Texas China Costa Rica and Florida an account of his life among the pelican colonies of North Key, in the Chandeleurs and about 90 journals of his trips to Horn Island, off the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, in which he combines close observation of the natural world with reflection on art and nature. Another noteworthy log describes a walking tour to a colony of sand- hill cranes north of Gautier, Mississippi, in January 1944.

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Walter Anderson Museum Of Art In Mississippi

The Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, celebrates the work of an eccentric artist, naturalist, and mystic whose genius was revealed only after his death in 1965.

On a trip to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, I was delighted to be introduced to the visionary art of Walter Anderson at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art.

The term eccentric doesnt really do justice to Walter Inglis Anderson .

Born in 1903, he was raised in an artistic family and attended two of the nations top art schools. As an adult, however, that early promise fizzled. He was an occasional husband and largely absent father to his four children, earning a small amount of money working in his brothers pottery business.

As the years passed he became increasingly reclusive and peculiar and was periodically hospitalized for treatment of schizophrenia. Dressed in mismatched clothes, Anderson would ride his rickety bike around the streets of Ocean Springs. Even his own children would cross the street to avoid him when they saw him coming.

But underneath that troubled exterior, his early artistic promise hadnt died at all. After Andersons death in 1965, an astonishing body of work was revealed: more than 30,000 pen-and-ink drawings, watercolor paintings, wooden carvings, and sculptures.

The Sistine Chapel of Mississippi

Of all the works discovered after his death, the most surprising was found inside a locked room in the cottage where he had lived alone for 18 years.

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Things To See At The Walter Anderson Museum Of Art:

  • The Little Room murals
  • The Ocean Springs Community Center murals
  • The current exhibition
  • The Ocean Springs Public School murals
  • Walter Andersons life mask
  • Walter Andersons self-portrait
  • His bike
  • Walter Andersons art and life story both resonate with me. I totally understand growing up in small-town Mississippi, needing to paint or create just for the sake of it, and even dealing with mental health issues. Addressing mental health is so very important for all of us, and I am so thankful that it is now something that we can talk about more freely. We definitely need to lean on one another and lift each other up. The struggle is real, but you dont have to go through it alone.

    I urge you to visit The Walter Anderson Museum of Art. Though he didnt look for fame, he is now considered an American master. With one visit to the museum, you will understand why.

    DISCLOSURE: Our visit to the Mississippi Gulf Coast was sponsored by Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast Tourism, but, as always, all opinions are our own. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will make a commission with no change in price for you.

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    The Ocean Springs Community Centre Murals

    This complex is comprised of two building the Ocean Springs Community Centre and the Walter Anderson Museum of Art . The Ocean Springs Community Centre is connected to the museum but remains a usable community space. Used for weddings, civic functions, community art classes/education. When we were visiting there was a school class visiting learning all about the murals and this wonderful artist.

    The cinder block building was constructed in 1950 and a year later, Walter Anderson painted a 2,500-square-foot mural depicting the Native American culture and the landing of French explorers in 1699, and the scenery and seasons of Ocean Springs. The illustrations are intricate and a joy to see.

    Walter Anderson was greatly influenced by The Seven Motifs from Adolf Best-Maugards book A Method of Creative Design . He would use these motifs throughout his career but they are especially prevalent in the Ocean Springs Community Centre murals.

    The motifs included a wavy line, zig-zags, straight line, circle, spiral, half-circle and an s-curve. Each motif has multiple meanings and represents elements , celestial entities , letters, nature and emotions . Patterns and colours are entwined throughout the murals telling both mystical and mythological stories.

    The murals have been painstakingly restored and have been valued at over $30 million . It took him 16-months to complete.

    The Naturalist Horn Island

    ART Yoga 4 Kids

    Seeking respite from the world around him, a tempestuous marriage and family life, Anderson sought refuge on an island off the coast of Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico. Rowing across over fifteen miles of open water in a leaky skiff to reach Horn Island, Anderson was a naturalist seeking to explore and then capture nature in his watercolours.

    One of six barrier islands, Horn Island had no running water or electricity but plenty of natural inspiration. Anderson would spend weeks at a time on his personal paradise, sleeping under his boat, sketching and painting the natural surroundings, wildlife, birds flora and fauna. During the 15 years prior to his death, he created watercolours and destroyed them too. He would light fires with his work when needed. A blank piece of paper was more valuable than one which already had something on it.

    So interested in the power of mother nature Anderson strapped himself to a tree during a hurricane so he could witness the power. They found him alive days later.

    Here is a short video produced by the WAMA where you can see the beauty that is Horn Island. It will help you understand why Walter Anderson was so drawn and inspired by nature.

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    Finding Eden At The Walter Anderson Museum Of Art Dedicated To A Misunderstood Mississippi Artist

    Located in Ocean Springs, the 30-year-old museum celebrates the work of an outsider who has remained an enigma to his family since his death in 1965

    Who would you like to meet at a dinner party and why?

    If I could turn back time to early 1965, Id like to meet Louisiana-born artist Walter Anderson. From an outsiders perspective, Walters life was full of challenges, heartbreak, and rejection. But his artwork proves he was also resilient and capable of creating art that transcended his earthly problems while delivering an astonishingly beautiful glimpse into the natural world he experienced.

    The Walter Anderson Museum of Art, located in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021. The museum is a testament to Walters keen eye for the natural beauty he wished to share. Walters son, John, a psychologist, and Anthony DiFatta, an artist and the museums educator, share their insight into the artists unconventional life as I take a tour.

    If you confuse abnormality with insanity, then a sane man in an insane world looks crazy, John says. With , there are so many misconceptions.

    The Walter Anderson Museum Of Art

    The Walter Anderson Museum of Art

    founded in 1991, is a nationally accredited art museum located in historic Ocean Springs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. WAMA is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of artist-philosopher Walter Anderson . Walter Andersons paintings, drawings, murals, block prints, sculpture, carvings, and writings of coastal plants, animals, landscapes, and people have placed him among the most compelling and singular artists of the 20th century. WAMA also honors Anderson’s brothers, Peter Anderson , master potter and founder of Shearwater Pottery and James McConnell Anderson , noted painter and ceramist.

    Not unlike Cezanne, Anderson cultivated a belief in realization between man and nature. If humans need the natural world in order to find spiritual transcendence, wrote Andersons biographer Christopher Maurer, nature requires the artist to fully realize the significance of its forms. Anderson also believed that nature, in its infinite wisdom and variety, could restore societies to a more perfect and participatory existence. In order to realize the beauty of man we must realize his relation to nature, wrote Anderson.

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    The Walter Anderson Museum Of Art: Murals Cats And One Old Hat

    Mississippi is known for its talent. You may think of Elvis Presley, Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, Oprah Winfrey, or even Faith Hill when you think of Mississippi, but what about fine artists? Walter Anderson, best known for his paintings, is an American master who called the Mississippi Gulf Coast home. You can visit the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs to see various works from his lifetime.

    DISCLOSURE: Our visit to the Mississippi Gulf Coast was sponsored by Visit Mississippi Gulf Coast Tourism, but, as always, all opinions are our own. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will make a commission with no change in price for you.

    Coastal Art Museums Offering Free Admission

    Rabbit

    byAugust 7, 2021, 11:30 am628 Views2 Votes

    The entire month of August, Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs and the Ohr-OKeefe Museum of Art in Biloxi will be offering free admission. Thanks to the Art Museum Month Mississippi campaign, all visitors are welcome to explore the exhibits at no charge. This is a great way to spend the day, take in new art, and just get out of the house.

    This is a statewide program to welcome back visitors. There are seven museums total across the state participating:

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    Walter Anderson Museum Of Art Courtney Blossman Art Cottage

    Tall Architects
    13. December 2021

    Located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of artist-philosopher Walter Anderson . In May the museum opened the Courtney Blossman Art Cottage, the renovation of a 19th-century house and the first stage in a campus expansion. Tall Architects answered some questions about the adaptive-reuse project.

    ProjectLocationClientArchitect

    • Design Principals: Madison Talley, Mark Talley
    • Project Team: Madison Talley, Mark Talley, Lilo Santos

    Structural Engineer / MEP/FP EngineerContractorFabricator Building Area

    Before and after

    Please provide an overview of the project.

    The Walter Anderson Museum of Art asked us to design a renovation and restoration of a cottage that the museum uses for educational classes and which had been deemed The Art Cottage. The renovation of the cottage, an 1890s Queen Anne structure, is the first phase in the museums new campus expansion: the Creative Complex, which will consist of classroom space, event space, and studios.

    Historic street elevation

    What are the main ideas and inspirations influencing the design of the project?

    New porch

    How did the project change between the initial design stage and its completion?

    Exterior stair

    Was the project influenced by any trends in energy-conservation, construction, or design?

    Exterior stair

    What products or materials have contributed to the success of the completed project?

    The Artist: Walter Anderson

    Walter Inglis Anderson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1903. From his early years until his death in 1965, he spent the majority of his life on the Mississippi Gulf Coast observing, drawing, and painting the flora and fauna of the region. The artist found the undeveloped coastal region of Mississippi and the barrier islands, especially Horn Island, to be ideal for close interaction with nature. Andersons paintings, drawings, murals, block prints, sculpture, and writings have placed him among the most compelling and singular artists of the 20th century.

    His significance in the history of art may lie in his perception of fundamental reality: the interconnectedness of the world, the dynamism of matter, the knowledge that man is a participant in nature rather than an observer.

    art historian Patti Carr Black

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    The Mystic The Little Room

    It is hard for me to decide which I loved more the Ocean Springs Community murals or The Little Room. The Little Room was a small room in a cabin which was not seen by anyone but Walter Anderson it was his sanctuary. The artist stored hundreds of watercolours in a special wooden box located in the room. Although he was prone to destroying his artwork when he needed fuel for a fire , Anderson did keep his prize selection stored away in The Little Room. They were discovered posthumously by his wife and her sister Pat.

    Walter Anderson painted the Little Room, floor-to-ceiling murals chronicling the transition from night to day through the synthesis of plants, animals, and brilliant colors. Through the Little Room, Anderson preserved for himself a never-ending connection to the wonders of nature.During his life, he never allowed anyone but himself, some cats, and the occasional possum to enter the room. After his death in 1965, Walters wife opened the door to the Little Room and found these spectacular murals. Covering the floor were thousands of paintings and drawings including his treasured Horn Island watercolours some of which Walter had attempted to destroy in the fireplace, and some which he had carefully selected and stored in a chest in the corner. The Little Room is the Museums crown jewel, the most intimate evidence of Andersons creative vision and genius.

    ~ Walter Anderson Museum of Art website

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