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  • Artist Profile Image - Carlos John Anderson

Carlos John Anderson

Carlos J. Anderson (Andreson) was born in Midvale, Utah in 1904. Early in his career, he changed the spelling of his last name to distinguish himself from artists with the last name Anderson. He was a painter, an illustrator, and a WPA artist who worked in Salt Lake, New York and San Francisco. He died in Salt Lake City in 1978. 

Anderson studied at the University of Utah from 1924-1927, and at the Los Angeles Art Institute. He also studied at the Art Students League from 1930–32, at the Académie Julian 1932–33 and the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. In 1933 he received a commission from the Federal Emergency Relief Act (FERA) to paint a series of 24 historical Salt Lake buildings. Known as the WPA collection, the State of Utah holds them as part of its collection.   

In the late 1930s Andreson moved to New York and began painting in the American Scene style, a stylized form of realism.  Snake River, Near Bliss (1942) and Road of Steel (1941) are examples of his easel paintings. After World War II began, Abbott Laboratories commissioned Andreson to depict medical subjects at the stateside naval hospitals. He also had a twenty-year career as a graphic artist. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Museum of American Art, the Utah State Fine Arts Collection, and the Springville Museum of Art have his work as part of their collection.

Biographical information on this page was adapted from the Springville Museum of Art.

Carlos John Andreson (Anderson), of Midvale and Salt Lake City, was a painter, illustrator, and WPA artist. He married Lois Head (q.v.) about 1937, but the two were later divorced. Andreson studied at the University of Utah (ca.1924-27), the Art Students League in New York City (1930-32), and the Ecole de Beaux-Arts and Academy Julian in Paris (1932-33). In the early 1930's, Andreson received a commission to record early life in Utah in twenty-four sketches. These excellent renderings are primarily of historical buildings and are all still owned by the State of Utah in what is known as the WPA Collection. After this Utah work, the artist moved to New York City and painted in a stylized form of realism. It was during this time that he became known as Carlos Andreson. He then moved to California in the 1940's and became associated with the San Francisco Civic Center and, later on, drew illustrations for the Oakland Army Base. He died in Salt Lake City.

Biography courtesy of the Springville Museum of Art.

Newspaper Articles

"Galleries Feature Top Contemporary Artists, Utahns, Up-And-Comers." The Deseret News, November 21, 1993.

"The Palette Of Artists." The Deseret News, September 25, 1988.


Olpin, Robert S., William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, Donna Poulton, Janie Rogers. 150 Years Survey of Utah Art, Utah Artists. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2001.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Painting and Sculpture. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1991.

 Last Modified 6/20/18