A packed house for Funderburk’s Walter Anderson lecture

January 28th, 2013 Comments Off on A packed house for Funderburk’s Walter Anderson lecture

Professor Brent Funderburk presents “Walter Anderson: A World Vision of Art and Nature.” (Photo by Beth Wynn | MSU University Relations)

The Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall was filled on Thursday (Jan. 24) for a lecture presented by Professor Brent Funderburk, “Walter Anderson: A World Vision of Art and Nature.”

Walter Anderson’s youngest son John, a friend of Funderburk, was present for the lecture, which was meant to introduce the MSU community to the works and life of the artist Walter Anderson.

John Anderson was also visiting the campus to work on discussions to establish a Walter Anderson Center at Mississippi State, which would make his father’s works accessible to not just the MSU community but to scholars, artists and others worldwide.

Funderburk, a professor in the Department of Art at MSU who has spent years researching and focusing his classes toward Walter Anderson, walked the audience through the artist’s life history and paintings.

Funderburk said Walter Anderson, throughout his life, was searching for the answer of “What is art and my place in it?”

After a lifelong struggle to find the meaning – from art training in Philadelphia, Penn., New York and Europe, to a battle with depression that nearly killed him – Funderburk believes Anderson found his meaning of art. Along the way, Anderson discovered that when two different languages meet, they produce a third thing, a miracle, and he believed art could be that miracle.

Walter Anderson took some early advice from his mother to heart – to not show his work until he went as far as he can. After his death from lung cancer in 1962, Anderson’s family uncovered a mural, hidden in his cottage in Ocean Springs, Miss. In the cottage was also a wooden box that contained 85 log accounts of Anderson’s journey to discover the meaning of art and 2,000 neatly stacked watercolors.

“The box has been opened,” said Funderburk. “I believe with all of my heart that nothing could stop him and that they were meant to be seen.”

John Anderson (back, right), Walter Anderson’s youngest son, attended the lecture.

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