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date: 17 August 2019

Anderson, Alexanderlocked

(b New York, April 21, 1775; d Jersey City, NJ, Jan 17, 1870).
  • David Tatham

Extract

(b New York, April 21, 1775; d Jersey City, NJ, Jan 17, 1870).

American wood-engraver. Anderson was the first important American wood-engraver. He was self-taught and made woodcuts for newspapers at the age of 12. Between c. 1792 and 1798, when he studied and practised medicine, he engraved wood as a secondary occupation, but following the death of his family in the yellow fever epidemic of 1798, he abandoned medicine and worked as a graphic artist. He was an early follower of Thomas Bewick’s white-line style. He usually engraved the designs of others, such as Benjamin West, but he was a skilful and original draughtsman, as can be seen in his illustrations for Durell’s edition of Homer’s Iliad (New York, 1808). He exhibited frequently at the American Academy and was a founder-member of the National Academy of Design (1825). Anderson spent his long and prolific career in New York, engraving mainly for book publishers and magazines but also producing pictorial matter for printed ephemera. He worked steadily until the late 1850s, cut his last blocks in ...

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