Peter Anderson (artist)

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Peter Anderson (1901–1984) was an American ceramist and founder of Shearwater Pottery in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.[1] He was born in New Orleans to George Walter Anderson, a grain broker, and Annette McConnell Anderson, member of a prominent New Orleans family, who had studied art at Newcomb College, where she had absorbed the ideals of the American Arts and Crafts movement.

Anderson was the eldest of three brothers, the others being Walter Inglis Anderson (1903–1965) and James McConnell "Mac" Anderson (1907–1998). Like Walter, Peter attended St. John's School in Manlius, New York until their schooling was interrupted by World War I and they enrolled in Isidore Newman School (then called Isidore Newman Manual Training School) in New Orleans.

In 1918, the Andersons purchased a large wooded tract of coastal land in Ocean Springs. It was Annette's firm intention that all three of her sons become artists, and her husband's, that they learn to make a living from it. By 1924, a year after the family moved to Ocean Springs, Peter was experimenting with pottery, and in 1928, after training with Edmund deForest Curtis at the Conestoga Pottery (Wayne, Pennsylvania) and with Charles F. Binns at the School of Clay-Working and Ceramics at Alfred, New York, the Andersons opened a family business, Shearwater Pottery, which is still in operation in Ocean Springs, under the management of his daughter Marjorie Anderson Ashley. Peter Anderson's son James Anderson is now Shearwater's master potter; his daughter, Patricia Findeisein, principal decorator; and another son, Michael Anderson, manager of the Shearwater Annex. Devastated by Hurricane Katrina, the Shearwater workshop was rebuilt by Patrick Ashley, grandson of Peter Anderson, and other members of the family.