Walter Anderson

Walter Anderson

Walter Anderson was inducted into the Walk of Fame on Thursday, September 29, 2011.

The year is 1903. The place, New Orleans, Louisiana. George Walter and Annette McConnell Anderson have welcomed their second son, Walter Inglis Anderson, to their world, having no idea what he would one day leave this world.

An artist herself, Annette immersed her sons, Walter, Peter and Mac, in music, art and literature, considering these to be integral components in life rather than added pleasures. Walter attended a private boarding school and continued his education at the Parsons Institute of Design in New York and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he earned a scholarship to study abroad.

Daily, Walter fed himself on poetry, history, science, folklore, philosophy, and mythology, but he would never satiate his hunger to understand a complex and puzzling universe.

Known to friends and family as “Bob,” Walter married Agnes Grinstead, who was known to most as “Sissy.” In Ocean Springs, Mississippi, they started a family and Walter worked with his brother Peter at Shearwater Pottery creating molds and decorating earthenware.  In the 1930s, he developed as a muralist through his work with the Works Progress Administration.

In the late 30s, while recuperating from illness at his father’s plantation in Gautier, Mississippi, Walter created art that not only disclosed his skill and knowledge of art, but a gift of genius few artists ever realize.

To quench his need to be one with nature, he often rowed out to Horn Island, where for long periods he lived in solitude with wildlife, lush foliage and the temperamental Gulf Coast weather of hurricane winds, winter’s bitter cold and the sweltering heat of summer.

His experiences allowed him to interpret and recreate wildlife and nature in his watercolors, ink, crayon and pencil drawings, wood sculptures, ceramics, oil paintings, linoleum block prints, furniture, as well as his writings.

Walter Inglis Anderson was 62 when he died of lung cancer in a New Orleans hospital. It is said that once he finished an art piece, it lay unnoticed alongside many others and that, after his death, his artwork was discovered by chance. Never craving fame or attention, Walter aspired not to discover himself, but the world around him. Yet, it is through his search, we find Walter Inglis Anderson, in Hummingbirds, Irises, Blue Crabs, Frogs, Bugs, Flowers, thistle, and so much more.

Mississippi Arts & Entertainment Center is honored to present this Walk of Fame star to Walter Inglis Anderson.

Enjoy this documentary on Walter Inglis Anderson.  Visit the Walter Anderson Museum of Art HERE