The Utah Photographs of George Edward Anderson
Within thirty years of the time the first Mormons settled in the valley of the Great Salt Lake, George Ed Anderson set out to photograph all he could see of his land and of his church. In his portable tent gallery, in front yards, on the steps of boxcar homes, and in his studio in Springville, he made thousands of portraits. He documented the building of Mormon temples, the civic celebrations of growing towns, the advances of the railroads and of industry.
Anderson photographed railroaders, miners, tradesmen, and farmers at work, and pioneers at rest. Whether his subject was an old Indian fighter or a gandy dancer, Anderson captured the dignity of men and women who had made a home in the West.
Always his images are sharp, and the most circumstantial details—buggy whips, washing machines, flowered hats and long skirts, watch-chains and tin cups, the bric-a-brac on a fine stone house, three boys' pet snakes—evoke a world that is gone.
A generation after Anderson, Rell G. Francis traveled the same roads and entered the same houses with prints of Anderson's photographs in hand. From his interviews with old-timers, his research in historical documents, and Anderson's own diaries, Francis has written an introductory essay and captions that complement the richness of Anderson's photographs.
George Edward Anderson (1860-1928) was born in Salt Lake City and lived most of his life in Springville, a small town near Provo. A devout Mormon, he photographed not only the Utah of his time but also Mormon landmarks in England, Canada, Vermont, and along the Mormon trail.
Recent searchers for historical photographs have made few finds as astonishing as the hoard of Anderson's glass plates that Rell. G. Francis has recovered in Utah. Francis, an artist and himself winner of many photographic awards, prepared the unique collection upon which this book is based for the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art.
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George Edward and Olive Lowry Anderson
Andersons Temple Bazar Gallery
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