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H. Anderson Art
Artist Harry Anderson is
famous for his dramatic, lifelike religious
paintings. His placement of Christ in more contemporary settings
clearly gives the message that Jesus is "here and now."
Anderson's vivid compositions, balance of dark and light,
use of color, and, most of all, facial expressions, combine
to create a stirring mood of the reality of God. He always
portrays Christ as compassionate, noble, strong, and confident.
Two of his most famous works are: "What Happened to
Your Hand" and "Prince of Peace."|
But Anderson's fame comes not only from his religious works;
in the 1940's and 50's, he was one of the nation's top illustrators
for such magazines as Collier's, Saturday Evening Post, and
Woman's Home Companion.
He was born to Swedish parents in 1906 and enjoyed a secure,
happy family life. Talent for mathematics seemed to run in the
family, so young Harry naturally chose it for his college major.
As a diversion from academic work he took a painting class. It
was there that he discovered his talent and he decided to pursue
a career in art. Anderson then studied art at Syracuse University.
After graduation he moved to New York, where he sold candy at night
and peddled his art to agencies during the day. He got part time
assignments first and eventually devoted full time to art as his
work caught on.
He move to Chicago, where he met and married Ruth Huebel. They
bought a house in Highland Park, and, as Anderson had no time to
do the repair work needed, a handyman was hired. It was through
this man that the Anderson's renewed their religious faith.
Their pastor sent samples of Anderson's illustrations to the
denomination's Review and Herald Publishing Company, publishers
of inspirational books and study materials. The Review's art director,
Terence Martin, had long had the idea of showing Christ in modern
day settings. When he saw Anderson's samples, he knew he had an
artist who could bring that idea to life. Thus Anderson began his
career in religious art, still illustrating for magazines to
supplement his income.
Anderson has been described as a quiet, unassuming man who
did not revel in the many honors and awards he received. To him,
serving God through high quality art was enough. He did not rely
on thunderbolt-and-lightning inspirations, but on skill, hard work,
and his intimate relationship with the Redeemer that he helped
others come to know in a real and personal way.