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William Anderson

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William Anderson
American Contemporary Photographer
William Anderson was born in Selma, Alabama during the Great Depression. Though best known for documenting the African American experience in the South, Anderson began his career as a sculptor. He studied sculpture at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel, Mexico and received his M.F.A. in 1968. Disappointed with the way that other people photographed his sculptures, Anderson began taking pictures of his own artwork. This decision marked the beginning of a significant transition in his career from a little known sculptor to a critically acclaimed photographer.

His photography has won national awards and is included in such prestigious collections as the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut, and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Anderson was a professor at Morehouse University for many years and served as chair of the art department. He retired in 2007 to pursue his art full time.

Buchanan, Shonda. “Rural Symphonies in Black and White: The Photography of William Anderson, Jr.” International Review of African American Art 22 no 2 (2008).

Written by Aleedra Price (PO ’10) Getty MUI Summer Intern 2010

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