Walter Anderson Through a Child's Eyes

Updated: Dec 13, 2018

Robert Sumner, a 3rd grade student at Pecan Park Elementary in Ocean Springs, won school-wide acclaim for this nonfiction project on The Secret Life of Walter Anderson. This is Robert's story.

"I can identify with this topic because Walter Anderson was an artist and I like to draw and make art. I also like coastal animals like Walter Anderson did.

The text reminds me of the book On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne because both Albert Einstein and Walter Anderson liked to be alone. One of Einstein's favorite thinking places was on a sailboat and Walter Anderson loved his boat. People thought both were strange.

Walter Anderson was born in New Orleans in 1903. He was an explorer, nature lover, artist, brother, husband, son, and father. During part of his life, Walter Anderson lived in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Walter Anderson's favorite place to paint was on Horn Island. Before he left on his trips to Horn Island, he locked the door to his little room that no one was allowed in. Walter Anderson made his boat from washed up pieces of old boats that he found on the beach. He packed his painting supplies and just a small amount of food on his boat. He always wore his hat. Walter Anderson paddled for twelve miles to reach Horn Island. It was only Walter Anderson and the wild animals. He loved it that way. He stayed on the island for weeks at a time, drawing and writing everything he saw.

Walter Anderson became very ill and died in New Orleans at the age of 62. After his death, his wife unlocked the door to his little room. She was amazed at what she saw. Floor to ceiling, Walter Anderson had covered the walls with murals of the coast and its animals that he loved so much."

The Museum and its programs are supported in part by the City of Ocean Springs and Jackson County. Support is also provided in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.


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Artwork reproduction courtesy of the Family of Walter Anderson.