Lucy Maris Lane Anderson

1881, Waterloo, Iowa – 1975, Fort Dodge, Iowa

A regionalist painter, organizer of fine art events, and wife and mother, Lucy Anderson completed over 1,000 paintings during her lifetime. She lived mainly in Iowa, although had studied at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. She also spent some time in Omaha, Nebraska where she briefly lived, exhibiting work at Joslyn Art Museum in 1933 in the Third Annual Iowa-Nebraska Show and in 1934 at the Five States Exhibition.

Lucy was born in Waterloo, Iowa to parents “of New England derivation.” (Ness) In 1900, at age 19, she married Edwin Louis Anderson from Black Hawk, Iowa. They had four children between 1904 and 1912. From 1904 to 1925, they lived in Omaha; St. Joseph, Missouri; and Great Falls, Montana before settling in Fort Dodge, Iowa where Lucy remained until her death in 1975.

When her children were raised, she committed to six weeks (June 26 to August 6, 1932) at Stone City Art Colony in Stone City, Iowa with some 100 other students. This setting became very popular for regional artists, offering art classes and socializing. Housing for women was in the third floor dormitory at $1.50 a week, and ‘guests’ provided their own linens, towels, and blankets. The faculty included Grant Wood, Aaron Pyle, David McCosh, Francis Chapin, Adrian Dornbush, and Marvin Cone. Lucy took classes in outdoor painting, figure drawing, and sculpture with special study with Wood and Dornbush. She also had time to explore the area and mingle, especially at mealtime when food, including the signature fried chicken and drinks, was served communally.

Her exhibition venues in addition to Omaha included two solo shows at the Blanden Memorial Art Museum in Fort Dodge, which she co-founded; Iowa Art Salon; Iowa Federation of Women’s Clubs, which she served as state chair from 1939 to 1941; Iowa State Fair from 1930 to 1935; and the Great Hall at Iowa State College (now University) in Ames where she had a seven-year series of showings.

Lucy Anderson is not represented in the Museum of Nebraska Art collection.

Sources:, Mar. 2014
Falk, Peter Hastings, Editor, Who Was Who in American Art, Volume I, Print
Ness, Zenobia B. and Louise Orwig, Iowa Artists of the First Hundred Years, pp. 15-16, Print
“When Tillage Begins,” The Stone City Art Colony and School, Web, Mar. 2014

Researched, written, and copyrighted by Lonnie Pierson Dunbier

Museum of Nebraska Art Project: Their Place, Their Time: Women Artists in Nebraska, 1825-1945