Monday, October 10, 2005

Historic and artistic treasure blown away by Katrina

Several months ago, I wrote about the exhibit, Walter Inglis Anderson: "Everything I See is New and Strange," on loan from the Smithsonian and featured (with New Orleans additions) at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Today, I was shocked and saddened to discover that most of the Anderson property in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, including Walter Anderson's cottage, was turned into rubble by Katrina. The Shearwater Pottery showroom is gone, as is the vault that housed much of Anderson's work.

Anderson, who once strapped himself to a tree during a hurricane so that he could fully experience the storm, has now, after his death, been done in by one. The loss of the cottage and of the entire Shearwater area is a major one to the art world, to Mississippi, and to the nation.

Numerous historic buildings on the Gulf Coast, including the cottage where Jefferson Davis wrote his memoirs, were destroyed by the hurricane.

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