Walter Anderson Linocut, ca. 1950

Value (2010) | $5,000 Auction

We bought it in Ocean Springs. It's an original block print of Walter Anderson's. He was a super-talented guy. I met him back in '49. I was at Ocean Springs at an arts workshop. After we were married, my husband and I bought this.

Well, what you have here is an example of the linocuts that Walter Anderson did, for which he's very, very famous. Anderson is such a fascinating figure. And he totally transcends any ability to categorize his work. He was considered a visionary. And his talents were utilized for linocuts, for paintings, wonderful watercolors. He was a great sculptor. He attended art school in Philadelphia when he was a young man.

Right, uh-huh.

Then came back to Mississippi and was here for the rest of his career. Now, he is known for being eccentric. And it is known, he did have a mental breakdown, I believe.

Oh, he did. He was hospitalized.

But, you know, an awful lot of wonderful artists had things going on that made them a little different. Now, I don't know that it's possible to put a date on this piece because he did this throughout his career. As you know, he died in 1965. And if you purchased it around 1950, I suspect it was probably quite new when you bought it. Anderson believed that art should be available for the masses and should not be too expensive. And so he started making these for sale. These were sort of known for this very rhythmic, very graphic quality. This is what's called a linocut, which is a linoleum cut process. The black lines are all the linocut. The orange and probably the white are stenciled colors that were applied before the linocut print. And we think that probably the, in consultation with one of my colleagues on the print table here, we think that the greens and the blues were probably watercolored in after the fact. This piece is, as you can see, not signed. But that's very typical of his work. He did not sign his work. He didn't even sign his original watercolors. You have some condition issues here. But the strength of the image really supersedes any problems or issues that it has. Do you remember how much you paid for it?

I believe $50.

You think $50?

I read somewhere, and I don't know for sure that this is true, but he sold the ones he made for wallpaper for a dollar a foot originally.

He's becoming more and more well known. We think the power of this image is so strong, coupled with the fact that a lot of material was lost in Katrina.


So there is not as much material will ever be available again. So, at auction, we think it's probably worth about $5,000.


Appraisal Details

Harwood Fine Arts, Inc.
South Hadley, MA
Appraised value (2010)
$5,000 Auction
Biloxi, MS (July 24, 2010)
20th Century

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