Anne R. King

Walls of LIght: The Murals of Walter Anderson

Stephen E. Ambrose, fwd.
photographs by John Lawrence

University of Mississippi Press (Jackson)
Click here for the University Press's entry on this book.

The Walter Anderson Museum of Art
Hardback (1999); paperback (1999)
9 x 11 in., 112 pages
Preface, chronology, endnotes,
85 four-color photographs, 20 b&w illustrations
ISBN 1-57806-128-8 (cloth)


Through the evolving tradition of mural painting, artists since the dawn of time have sought to emancipate our view of the world and enfold us within their vision. Murals are expanded thresholds that defy the limitations imposed on our sight lines by architectural openings such as windows and doors. Walter Anderson's passionate view of the natural world could hardly be contained within the limitations imposed by paper, canvas, clay or even walls. Yet he has left an extraordinary gift of public art in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, which reveals the rhythms of the natural world, celebrates the history of the Gulf Coast region, and inspires the thousands of people who visit here each year.

This book drawn from the exhibition "Walls of Light: The Murals of Walter Anderson," insightfully written and curated by Anne King, makes available for the first time a comprehensive, comparative view of Anderson's various mural projects and related works. The murals featured include the WPA Murals, the Oldfields Murals, the Community Center Murals, and the Shearwater Cottage Murals. The exhibition was featured at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in 1999. All three of Anderson's major murals can be seen on permanent display at the museum.

In this 1999 tricentennial year, as we celebrate the French discovery of the land which is now the Mississippi Gulf Coast, "Walls of Lights" expands our understanding of this brilliant facet of Anderson's creative legacy and emphasized the importance of preserving these cultural treasures for generations to come.

The Walter Anderson Museum of Art organized "Walls of Light: The Murals of Walter Anderson" and appreciated the creative collaboration of the University Press of Mississippi in co-publishing this book.

(Adapted from the preface by Clayton Bass, executive director, Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Ocean Springs, Mississippi)