Find, Learn, Price Art
Enjoy the comprehensive art database we've compiled since 1987
Membership Details
Images, sales charts, bios, signatures, 30 artist Alerts and more ...
Art auction records:  Millions of references for pricing research
Or, register for Free Alerts
To track 10 artists.

Already a member?  Sign in here

Alexander Anderson

 (1775 - 1870)
Alexander Anderson was active/lived in New Jersey, New York.  Alexander Anderson is known for wood engraving-bank notes, portrait drawing.

Alexander Anderson

Biography from the Archives of askART

Known as the "founder of the art and industry of wood engraving in the United States," Alexander Anderson was the dominant figure in that medium until the 1840s when a freer style came into vogue led by Felix Darley.

Anderson completed about six thousand wood carvings and worked nearly to the end of his long life of ninety-five years.  He is credited with inspiring many artists including Abel Bowen in Boston and George Gilbert in Philadelphia.

Anderson was self taught in drawing and copperplate engraving.  He first trained as a doctor in New York City where he was born.  But he was inspired by the revival of wood engraving led by British artist Thomas Bewick whose tiny, cameo-type forms were done in the 'white line' technique, which was utilizing the natural lines of the wood.

By 1798, Anderson, influenced by Bewick, was devoting himself exclusively to carving, and as a result was responsible for popularizing Bewick's style of wood engraving in America.  He did engravings for almanacs and books.  Although he did some original work, most of his depictions he copied from Bewick and other famous artists including Benjamin West.  For the first American edition of Bewick's General History of Quadrupeds (1804), Anderson did three-hundred wood engravings.

Sinclair Hitchings, 'Alexander Anderson', The Britannica Encyclopedia of American Art, p. 15

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Share an image of the Artist

  Full access to biographies is
  free each Friday

About  Alexander Anderson

Born:  1775 - New York City
Died:   1870 - Jersey City, New Jersey
Known for:  wood engraving-bank notes, portrait drawing

Essays referring to
Alexander Anderson

San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exhibition 1915