ARTHUR G. ANDERSON
(1935 - )
When Arthur Anderson was of elementary
school age, he often sat near his Uncle George and watched
him paint landscapes. Although his uncle was a concert violinist
with the Chicago Symphony, he was also a fine amateur artist.
Arthur would watch by the hour, virtually mesmerized by the
way the colors took form and a landscape slowly developed
on the canvas.
One day, when Art was twelve
years old, his uncle handed him the paint box with all its
contents. "Here," he said. "It's a present.
You can have it." The young boy was thrilled with the
gift, but not in his wildest dreams could he have envisioned
a career which would keep him close to the natural world he
loved so much and eventually include winning the most sought-after
trophy in the field of wildlife art.
Art was born on December 10,
1935, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the second of three boys.
His father was a tool and dye maker and his mother a school
teacher. Both parents stressed formal education (both his
brothers are engineers), and were somewhat less than ecstatic
when young Arthur showed a penchant for "drawing pictures."
Most of the members of his family
hoped he would outgrow the phase and settle into something
"solid," but the magnetism of the outdoor paintings
by the renowned illustrators of that age - Jaques, Wilwerding,
Bishop, Hunt, etc. - proved to be too great. However, the
decision to pursue a career in art was not made without an
After graduating from high school,
he enlisted in the Air Force partly because his patriotism
surfaced, partly because he thought that maybe his peers were
right and he should pursue a technical career, and partly
because he knew he could use the G.I. Bill to further his
education, art or otherwise.
His job with the Air Force-radar
technician on F- 104's at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base-was
definitely technical and scientific. Although he put in a
credible performance as a technician, he often found himself
drawing instead of studying.
In the summer of 1955, he wrangled
a pass for the 4th of July weekend-just long enough to get
home and marry his high school sweetheart, Virginia Nelson.
Ultimately, they would raise a family of five boys and one
After separation from the Air
Force, Art attended the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire.
However, the art curriculum there was not the kind of art
he wanted to pursue. He left the university in his sophomore
year, determined to continue his education by trial, error