Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Eiteljorg Insider: 5 Questions with Western Art Society member David Anderson

by Guest blogger David Anderson, Western Art Society | Sep 03, 2013

I am a stay-at-home dad or, as I sometimes prefer to be known, professional minivan driver. My wife, Caryn, and I have three kids who have gone from diapers to teenagers in the blink of an eye. I dabble in creative writing, like to golf and ski, and spend a fair amount of time chasing volleyball and hockey schedules.

What is your favorite piece in the Eiteljorg’s permanent collection?
Eanger Irving Couse, The Wedding, 1924
The Wedding, 1924
Eanger Irving Couse (1866-1936)
Gift: Courtesy of Harrison Eiteljorg

That’s a tough one. I love Eanger Irving Couse’s The Wedding because I identify that with the Eiteljorg and we had a poster of it as one of our first wall hangings right after we got married. But I’m going to have to say Dan Smith’s Stillwater Crossing. It’s a piece that just sticks with me. Like all of Dan’s work, it is amazingly detailed. The wild eyes and the head above water give it a unique perspective that makes it a very moving example of wildlife art. (Pictured: Stillwater Crossing, 2009, Daniel Smith (1954), Acrylic, 2009 Quest for the West Harrison Eiteljorg Purchase Award.)

If you could invite any artist to dinner, who would it be and why?
Well, as part of Quest for the West, I’ve been lucky to be able to participate in basically inviting 50 artists to dinner for a weekend every September. The best part of the show has been to get to know the artists. But if I had to limit it to one, I would invite George Hallmark because it would be fitting since he was the first artist I met. I was in a gallery during my first trip to Scottsdale. I was admiring Hallmark’s work and said to the fellow next to me, "I don’t know much about art but I like this guy’s work." It turned out that the fellow next to me was George. We had a great conversation that was the beginning of me becoming hooked on Western art. 

What book are you reading right now?
I am reading The Princess Bride by William Goldman. I am a fan of young adult literature and The Princess Bride is one of my all time favorite movies. I realized that I had never read the book. It is a very interesting premise: it is an abridged version of a classic novel that never existed. Goldman is a talented writer, having written the screenplays for movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Maverick, and Misery.

Caryn and David Anderson

Why do you collect Western Art?
I started as an enabler for my wife, who is genetically predisposed to it. Caryn’s parents, Ed and Phyllis Cockerill are original members of the Western Art Society. We discovered our own passion for it, and I think it has to do with the combination of history and beauty that is represented by the genre. To a large extent, the story of the West is the story of America. It holds most of our natural monuments and represents our greatest triumphs as well as our greatest tragedies. And, living in the Midwest, it is awfully nice to sit in our house, admire the art, and take a virtual vacation to the places and stories represented.

What inspires you?
Extrinsically speaking, trips to the National Parks, standing on the top of a snow covered mountain, and writers who are doing great work. Intrinsically, I am inspired by the notion that "it is over before you know it" and it is imperative to do something.


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