By: Torche Nash
Coastal Mississippi is filled with several family-friendly gems. From places to eat and drink, attractions and museums - there's so much that the entire family will enjoy!
During our recent stay in Ocean Springs, Mississippi at The Roost, we had the pleasure of participating in a well-guided tour at the Walter Anderson Museum. This museum is not only significant to the art culture, but also significant to the community of Ocean Springs, for various reasons.
Walter Anderson was born in New Orleans, LA. His love of art came from his mother, who was also an artist. He attended the Parson Institute of Design in New York from 1922 to 1923 and then went on to attend the Parsons Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1923 to 1928. There, he won several awards for his work, one of which allowed him to travel to Europe.
Europe is where he became fascinated by cave paintings in the Pyrenees Mountains and later, incorporated what he saw into his work.
After that, he went back to Ocean Springs, Mississippi to live. In 1929, Walter returned to Ocean Springs, married his wife, Agnes and had four children.
Walter later went on to work with his brother at Shearwater Pottery. During the next several years, Walter would frequently visit Horn Island, where most of his work in this museum was created.
During this time, Walter wasn't recognized as the artist he is today. Instead, he took very little money, if any at all, to create his greatest masterpieces. The Walter Anderson Museum is an addition to what used to be Ocean Spring's community center, where he painted the walls for one dollar! For the art to be glorified like it is today, the community didn't see it that way in the beginning. In fact, many officials even joked about painting over his work with white paint!
What Walter created and accomplished throughout his lifetime was mind-blowing and finally got the recognition it deserved. His work is worth millions more than what it was when he was alive. After his death, Walter's wife and her sister, took a peek inside the little room his small cottage - where he spent his days creating - and found that he created an entire masterpiece out of the cottage.
They also found tons of artwork in a tightly locked, wooden trunk, that they had to pry open just to get inside!
Without giving too much away, I feel the magnitude of Walter Anderson's legacy should be discussed prior to your visit, so you know just how invaluable Walter was to the Ocean Springs community and the entire culture of modern art! There's so much more information that will have you walking away with even more appreciation for art as a whole.
Each guide takes their time to explain the art, the history, which time period it all was created and what Walter was experiencing in his personal life at the time. It's astonishing to see it all add up! The Walter Anderson Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM - 5 PM. You can visit their website to plan your visit - here. This remarkable art museum is just another asset you get to experience while visiting Coastal Mississippi.
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