A veteran Mississippi State art professor will lead three public programs in the near future at regional museums, all involving his ongoing research on late Ocean Springs artist Walter Inglis Anderson.
Brent Funderburk, a faculty member at the university since 1982, has studied Anderson's life and creations for more than three decades. In addition to numerous lectures on the New Orleans-born artist, he has curated exhibitions of Anderson's art at universities and museums throughout the country.
On campus, he continually has dedicated courses and studio projects to Anderson's vision, including taking art and natural science students to experience the coastal environment in which the artist worked.
Funderburk has theorized that Anderson, who died in 1965, had a goal of transforming the world through his art, and that his plan is proving to be successful. In an effort to validate the theory, the professor's presentations typically feature a guided trek through hundreds of Anderson's jewel-like watercolors, lightning-lined drawings and myriad decorative objects.
Funderburk's first public event takes place Tuesday [Nov. 19] at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson with an illustrated program titled "Walter Anderson's Symphony of Animals," which will be part of the museum's "Unburied Treasures" series.
The MMA event also will include a live performance by the Ensemble Polonaise related to Anderson's art and love of animals. Funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities through the Mississippi Humanities Council. For times and a specific museum location, see www.msmuseumart.org.
Funderburk's second program Feb. 8 at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, La., will be titled "Walter Inglis Anderson: A World Vision for Art, Nature, and Man." He will discuss why and how Anderson created thousands of images, some purposefully reproducible for the identity of the greater local world and community and others more carefully crafted, selected and hidden from view.
Finally, Funderburk will curate an Ocean Springs exhibition in March of the namesake's masterworks at the Anderson Museum of Art. Along with the masterworks exhibition, a related presentation taking place there January-April will feature some 35 works under the title "New Solar Myths: Paintings and Drawings of Brent Funderburk." For details, visit http://walterandersonmuseum.org/.
Over the years, Funderburk has worked extensively with Anderson's youngest son, John, who is the curator of the Anderson Estate/The Family of Walter Anderson. Funderburk also was among a group of faculty from several MSU departments that responded in 2005 to help rescue some of Walter Anderson's works in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina flooding. His website is www.brentfunderburk.com
For more information about Mississippi State University, see www.msstate.edu.