View Full Version : Walter Anderson's work...too sad...

09-22-2005, 01:52 PM
There was an article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/18/AR2005091801264_pf.html) in Monday's Washington Post about the loss of many of artist Walter Anderson's beautiful watercolors due to hurricane Katrina...here's a bit of the article:

"Hurricanes exhilarated Walter Anderson. As the story goes, the quirky-genius painter/sculptor/craftsman refused to evacuate the little Gulf island where he was working when Hurricane Betsy roared through here in 1965. He curled up under a little boat on a sand dune and weathered the brutal winds and waters.

Forty years later, much of Anderson's astonishingly original artwork has been maimed or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina."

"...has spread scores of water-soaked original drawings on the back-room floor of Realizations, a gift shop that features reproductions of Anderson's art -- fanciful, colorful paintings and drawings of Gulf Coast birds, trees, alligators, sea life and just about everything else imaginable, all brought to life in a looping, swirling, childlike-yet-sophisticated way. The shop is part of a refurbished train depot.

"A few tree-strewn blocks away: The Walter Anderson Museum of Art and community center, which housed exhibits of Anderson's work, stands pretty much unscathed by the wind and water. The art in the museum was safe; many of Anderson's damaged pieces from other places have been taken there for evaluation. But the 28-acre family compound, where several generations of Andersons live, has been pretty much wiped out. Fifteen buildings, including nine family homes, were destroyed, John Anderson reports, and a concrete vault holding most of Walter's art filled with water.

"His family lives with art, too. An artist's colony was created by Walter Anderson's mother, her three sons, and their wives. Shearwater Pottery and Realizations, two businesses based on the family's creativity, have supported the family members that work in them for many years. Today the Andersons are a family of painters, potters, sculptors, dancers and musicians. Hurricane Katrina, John Anderson says, destroyed most of the family's resources and sources of income. Artists and conservators have offered to help in ways large and small. One friend has set up a bank account; another is holding a yard sale.

"The day after the storm, Anderson says, he evaluated the family's precarious situation: "I decided all we had left was our friends." " (© 2005 The Washington Post Company)

I feel most fortunate that I was able to see many of Anderson's works at an exhibit last year at the Smithsonian...fabulously wondrous work...

For those who don't know his work, take a look at the Walter Anderson Museum (http://www.walterandersonmuseum.org/) and the Realizations (http://www.walteringlisanderson.com/index.html) websites.


09-23-2005, 05:18 AM
Oh my heavens! I do hope someone got good photos of the damaged art, so they can at least live on in prints. I'd never heard of Walter Anderson or his work before your post, but what gorgeous work!

My mentor was a prolific painter and, before he passed away, he had the foresight to get an excellent commercial photographer friend out to his home to get all his art on film.

Thanks for posting, Terrie. I'm very glad to know of Walter Anderson and his work and wish the best for his family.

09-23-2005, 10:08 AM
>>elysec: I'd never heard of Walter Anderson or his work before your post, but what gorgeous work!

I'd never heard of him either before an article in the Washington Post about his exhibit at the Smithsonian and they had a couple of his paintings in the article and I was very intrigued by his work. I feel very fortunate to have been able to see the exhibit and that I bought the book about his paintings...he was a very interesting man...

I'm assuming that they have photographs of most of his work because of the book.


Steve Rindsberg
10-04-2005, 07:26 PM
No worries re photos. Anderson's very well known along the Gulf and parts north.
Shearwater Pottery was a simple, spare but very lovely spot to visit.

A real shame.

10-05-2005, 02:03 PM
>>steve: A real shame.

Indeed...very sad...