John Octavius Anderson

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John Octavius Anderson


Observations from Afar

Oil on Canvas
29 1/2 x 21 3/8

inches Signed Lower Right

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John O. Anderson, portrait and figure painter, was born in Cincinnati on March 27,1856.  The next year his father moved to Keokuk, Iowa where Mr. Anderson spent his early years.  He began to seriously study his profession in 1870, and John Hagney, of Newark, N.J., was his first instructor.

Anderson then pursued his studies under John Mulvaney, of Iowa, and subsequently of Chicago.  In 1874 he took a course in Keokuk, Iowa under George Upp.  In 1875 he went to Cincinnati and entered the school of design under T.S. Noble.

In 1877, Anderson went to Europe, and studied a short time under Professors Barth and Wagner of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts at Munich.  In the fall of 1879, in company with other students of the Duveneck School, he spent a season in visiting Florence, Rome, Venice, Naples, Genoa and other points of artistic interest in Italy, his headquarters being at Florence. 

He afterward traveled through portions of Spain, France and England , and then returned to his home in Iowa, where he operated a studio in Keokuk and remained two years, and in the fall of 1883 took a position in the Washington University, St. Louis.

In June 1884 he came to Chicago.  Mr. Anderson is one of the originators of the Western Art Association, whose first exhibition, in January 1883, was so commendable. [Andreas III, p.423]


Submitted by Gene Meier