Walter Anderson (High School) Traveling Trunks
The Walter Anderson (High School) Traveling Trunk focuses on one of Mississippi’s most renowned artists. This trunk, incorporating numerous art activities related to design, mapmaking, and printmaking, is most appropriate for students in ninth through twelfth grades.
With this trunk students will have an opportunity to
- Find their own sources of artistic inspiration
- Identify and explain the basic elements of a map
- Design and create a print using authentic printmaking tools
- Write, illustrate, and bind an original storybook
- Recognize the influence of prehistoric cave paintings on the prints of Walter Anderson
A teacher’s notebook and material list is included in the trunk. This trunk is organized as a six-day unit but teachers are encouraged to organize, revise, and adapt its contents to best fit the needs of their students.
In the first lesson a video, An American Master: Walter Anderson of Mississippi, provides an overview of Walter Anderson’s life. Students are introduced to the “seven motifs of creative design” and, with inspiration from nature and music, use the motifs to create drawings.
The second lesson shows how prehistoric cave paintings influenced Walter Anderson’s work. Students learn about famous cave paintings and the people who painted them and then create their own caves and cave paintings using crumpled butcher paper, dried soil, and oil.
The book Walls of Light: The Murals of Walter Anderson, along with full-color overhead transparencies of three Anderson murals, introduces mural painting to students. Students then discuss and evaluate the three murals and identify their connections to the prehistoric cave paintings of France and the history and culture of the Gulf Coast region of Mississippi, as well as their evidence of the “seven motifs of creative design” and natural inspiration.
Map-reading skills are taught using a magnetic compass, a map of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, and Walter Anderson’s three island map. Students learn to produce maps of their own surroundings in the style of Walter Anderson.
The video Walter Anderson and Printmaking and a projected, full-color overhead transparency of Anderson’s Three Billy Goats Gruff are used to introduce printmaking. Students utilize brayers, inking plates, and ink to create block prints in the style of Walter Anderson, pressing designs into Styrofoam meat trays and “pulling” prints from this surface.
The bookbinding lesson is initiated with the reading of Walter Anderson’s illustrated children’s story Robinson: The Pleasant History of an Unusual Cat. Students brainstorm and are helped to develop stories of their own; then they select parts of the stories for illustration. Following step-by-step illustrated instructions, they produce bound books.
Trunk Weight and Dimensions
- Weight: 28 lbs.
- Dimensions: 18” (h) x 23” (w) x 30” (l)
To learn more about the Traveling Trunk Lending Policies and Procedures, the content of specific trunks, or to book a trunk, please contact:
Outreach Programs Coordinator
Museum Division, MDAH
P.O. Box 571
Jackson, MS 39205-0571