Painter and photographer, Oscar Anderson was born in Gotland, in the Baltic Sea, off the coast of Sweden. Anderson emigrated to the United States where he settled in Connecticut. He studied art in Hartford with portrait, genre and still life painter, Charles Noel Flagg, who had studied in Paris under Jacquesson de la Chevreuse, a pupil of Ingres. Anderson was a founding member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, established in Hartford in 1910.
By 1908, Anderson had moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts and became a leader in the Cape Ann Art Colony, maintaining a studio in his home at Highlands Court and running a gallery on Rocky Neck Avenue. He was the first vice president of the Gloucester Society of Artists in 1922 when it formed, and then served for many years as president. He was also a founding member of the North Shore Artists Association in Gloucester and a member of the Boston Art Club. During the 1930s he did numerous Federal Art Project murals for the Works Progress Administration, including one of ships and small boats for the Mayor’s Secretary’s office in Gloucester City Hall. Anderson’s work was exhibited at the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, where it won prizes in 1917 and 1921; and at the Sweden Club, Chicago, in 1929, where it also took a prize. Anderson’s paintings and murals can be seen in the Louise Crombie Beach Memorial Collection of Art at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and various WPA sites, such as Manchester-by-the-Sea Town Hall in Massachusetts.