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Anderson, George Edward, 1860-1928

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1860-1928

Biographical History

George Edward Anderson (1860-1928) was a Mormon photographer.

George Edward Anderson (Ed, as he was called) was born October 28, 1860, in Salt Lake City, to George A. Anderson and Mary Ann Thorn, and was the oldest of nine children. He was apprenticed as a teenager under the renowned photographer, Charles R. Savage. It was at Savage's Temple Bazaar that he became friends with fellow apprentices John Hafen and John F. Bennett. Hafen was later to become an accomplished artist and Bennett was to become instrumental in preserving Anderson's collection of glass plate negatives.

At the age of seventeen, Anderson established his own photography studio in Salt Lake City with his brothers, Stanley and Adam. He subsequently established a studio in Manti, Utah in 1886. In the fall of 1888 he moved his studio to Springville, Utah, with his bride, Olive Lowry. He is perhaps best known for his traveling tent studio, set up in small towns throughout central, eastern, and southern Utah, where he captured the lives of the residents. These studios thrived throughout the years 1884-1907.

Although today we might think of Ed Anderson as a portrait photographer, his clear and artistic studio portraits are complemented by thousands of documentary portraits taken near homes, barns, and businesses. They document not only families but also small town Utah history. He documented, among other things, railroad history, mining history including the Scofield mine disaster, and the building of temples by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Pure landscape photographs were never his interest, but to many Church members, his 1907-1908 photographs of Church history sites are their only acquaintance with Anderson's photography. He photographed these sites while traveling across the country to begin his LDS Church mission in England from 1909-1911. The Deseret Sunday School Union of the Church published some of the views, as Anderson called them, in a booklet entitled The Birth of Mormonism in Picture.

Upon the completion of his mission, Anderson returned to South Royalton, Vermont, and set up a photography studio near the birthplace of the prophet Joseph Smith. He added a number of Church history site photographs, as well as portraits of Church members and local residents to his growing collection. Finally, in November 1913, he returned to his family and home in Springville, Utah.

After a seven year absence his photographic business was unhealthy and his family life was strained. But business and money were never the motivating forces of Ed Anderson's life—art and religion were his driving forces. Continuing to experience financial and marital strains, Anderson tried to revive his traveling tent studio but was met with little success. He was, however, able to earn some money from the sale of The Birth of Mormonism booklet.

The later years of Ed Anderson's life were spent in documenting families and life in Utah Valley and traveling to newly constructed temples. In 1923, he traveled to Cardston, Alberta, Canada with Church authorities for the dedication of that city's temple. He was to spend two years in Canada, thus returning to Springville in 1925. Though ill in the fall of 1927 and despite his wife's urging not to go, Anderson went once again with Church officials to document the dedication of another temple, this time in Mesa, Arizona. It was to be his last trip. He died of heart failure on May 9, 1928, after being brought home to Springville.

Citation

His The Utah photographs of ... c1979: t.p. (George Edward Anderson) CIP gally (Springville, Utah; d. 1928)

Phone call to pub., 1/19/79 (b. 1860)

Church history in black and white, c1995: p. xv (George Edward Anderson, known as 'Ed' or 'Eddy' throughout his life)

Wikipedia, viewed October 11, 2010 (George Edward Anderson (October 28, 1860-May 9, 1928); early American photographer known for portraiture and documentary photographs of the early Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temples; born in Salt Lake City, Utah; photography studio in Salt Lake City and 1886 in Manti, Utah; Moved studio to Springville, Utah in 1888; LDS Church mission to England 1909-1911; died heart failure on May 9, 1928 in Springville, Utah after being brought home from Mesa, Arizona)

Found in 38 Collections and/or Records:

Anderson family photographs

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS P 155
Scope and Contents Collection includes photographs of the George Edward Anderson family, taken between the 1880s and the 1950s.
Dates: approximately 1880-1959

George Edward Anderson photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2852
Overview Collection contains eight boxes containing 130 items, including black and white oversized prints of Utah printed from negatives by George Edward Anderson.
Dates: 1900-1928

George Edward Anderson diaries

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1477
Scope and Contents Handwritten diaries for the years 1895-1904, 1908-1909, 1914-1915, and 1919-1920. Anderson writes about his family life, his studio in Springville, Utah, and his travels throughout southern Utah with his tent gallery. Three of the items deal with his mission for the Mormon Church in England and describe Anderson's photographing of Mormon history landmarks in the Eastern United States.
Dates: 1895-1928

George Edward Anderson photograph

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 2950
Scope and Contents A copy of a photograph of George Edward Anderson posing with Mabel Grace Clifford and Frank Douglas Clifford in Kennington, Kent, England on 18 April 1910.
Dates: 1910

George Edward Anderson photograph collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS P 1
Scope and Contents Contains protraits taken by Anderson in Utah during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Dates: 1877-1927

George Edward Anderson photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3157
Scope and Contents Contains sixteen original photographs by prominent Utah photographer George Edward Anderson.
Dates: approximately 1890-1919

George Edward Anderson photographs of Icelanders

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 8111
Scope and Contents Contains five photographs of people who emigrated from Iceland to Utah. Portraits were taken by George Edward Anderson, circa 1890-1910. There is also a packet of pages that identifies the people in each of the photographs.
Dates: approximately 1890-1910

George Edward Anderson photographs of the Alberta Temple

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 3238
Abstract The photograph collection, originally consisting of 39 nitrocellulose negatives and 14 gelatin dry plate negatives, totaling 53 negatives, now consists of only 27 nitrocellulose and 13 gelatin dry place negatives, totaling 40 negatives. Due to severe emulsion damage, these 40 negatives were salvaged from the collection, and many of them still have considerable emulsion damage. 25 of the photographs are images of the Alberta Temple, with 15 portraits of families and individuals in the Cardston,...
Dates: approximately 1923-1924

J. Stanley Anderson photographs and postcards

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS P 120
Scope and Contents Collection includes photographs, postcards, and use reproductions of the original items produced by J. Stanley Anderson. Includes images of family and friends.
Dates: approximately 1880-1949

Anderson-Larson photograph of the Brigham Young Academy Building, approximately 1897

 Item — Box: 1, Folder: 32
Identifier: UA P 2 Series 1 Item 55
Scope and Contents Reproduction of a photograph of the Brigham Young Academy Building, approximately 1897. Print created between 1970 and 1975.
Dates: approximately 1897