Walter Anderson Chosen For American Masterpieces

"You can recognize it by the colors, by the pastels that he uses," the art instructor explained to a group of students touring the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs.

The students from Mobile learn to appreciate the mastery of Anderson. And his impressive collection will soon reach out to art lovers across America.

"We're excited that we're one of the museums. And that Walter is now, we all think it, but definitely an American master," said museum director, Gayle Petty-Johnson.

Anderson's art has been chosen by the National Endowment of the Arts for its "American Masterpieces" traveling exhibits. The museum received a one hundred ten thousand dollar grant to make it happen.

"It is a complete retrospective. It shows his work in all media. So, we're going to take about 80 works on the road," the director explained, "Wood carvings. It'll be carved and decorate pottery. Pen and inks. Water colors. Block prints. Oils."

The exhibit will feature a select sampling of Anderson's enormous creative collection, from vibrant water colors, to whimsical animal figures.

Those who enjoy the national exhibit will learn to appreciate Anderson's subtle genius, along with his often unconventional manner, like the pioneering work with giant linoleum block prints.

"He used scrap battle ship linoleum that he got from the shipyards in Pascagoula and New Orleans. And carved huge ones and then his paper was remnants of wallpaper and he printed on the other side," said Petty-Johnson.

The National Endowment award will bring further acclaim to a deserving American master and his treasures; attention many say is long overdue.

"We had a major American artist here in the Gulf South. And it wasn't all in New York City," said the smiling museum director.