Walter Inglis Anderson Watercolor

Value (2008) | $10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction

GUEST:
Walter Anderson was born in New Orleans but lived most of his life in Mississippi. He did not become famous, though, until after his death. He was a very interesting person, but, as many artists, had his own way of doing things and would leave his family for much time and go off and paint. His family also has pottery. There now is a museum down in Mississippi with his work,

APPRAISER:
That would be Shearwater.

GUEST:
part of it. Mm-hmm, yes. When he died of lung cancer, the family needed money, so what they did was collect a lot of his work, because they found a lot of it in his cottage so they could get some money for... continued their business in the pottery and they came to Memphis, Tennessee, in about '69, I believe it was.

APPRAISER:
And is that where you acquired this one?

GUEST:
And that's when we got these.

APPRAISER:
Do you remember what you paid for it back then?

GUEST:
Um, I think it was around $75, $80.

APPRAISER:
Many of his works aren't signed. This one isn't signed, in fact. And occasionally you'll see a monogram by him, where he'll sign with initials. And I don't think I've ever heard of any being dated. I think he's a fascinating individual. He really epitomizes the visionary, driven artist. And it was very important for him to be both in and of nature, which is why he spent so much time in isolation on Horn Island.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
Leading a very frugal existence and really just creating art. And here was a man who really believed in the transformative power of art. It was really a mission for him. He wanted to create work that was... had mass appeal but was well produced, that a lot of thought had gone into, and that was affordable to many people, too, which is why he would produce pottery, through Shearwater, and why he produced linocuts as well, which was a good mass medium to get his work out there. You can see this work embodies an energy that you see in his watercolors. And in this one you get a glimpse of his working method. It looks as though he perhaps uses a little bit of pencil line here. You can see traces of the graphite here and around here and even here, where there is some pencil drawing which he hasn't, in fact, filled in. So he would lay out the bare bones of the composition and then go at it with his brush. And this one has terrific color, great rhythm to it. I think this one, at auction, would reach probably $10,000 to $15,000 or so.

GUEST:
Hmm... very nice.

APPRAISER:
It's got a wonderful energy to it that I really enjoy very much.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Freeman's Auctioneers
Philadelphia, PA
Appraised value (2008)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Event
Chattanooga, TN (July 19, 2008)
Period
20th Century
Form
Painting
Material
Watercolor

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