The ‘Cupid and Psyche Exhibit’ is now up at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art.
Married in 1933, Walter Anderson and Agnes Grinstead share a unique love story which their son John remembers so well. “In a way, daddy’s story is a love story. He actually won her through love letters.”
These letters are on display at the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs in an exhibit dedicated to their love. The exhibit holds multiple portraits that Anderson painted of his wife and drawings of their life together which can be seen on the backs of the letters. WAMA Curator Mattie Colding said, “He would often illustrate the letters and I think they are just a really sweet, very open depiction for this ideal lifestyle that he had in mind for them.”
The exhibit also ties the mythological love of Cupid and Psyche in with Walter and Anges’ real life love. WAMA Director Julian Rankin said, “These are two pendant love stories. One of mythological past and then one of a very kind of contemporary local present and they come together in this nice quaint intimate little gallery.”
This exhibit centers around a large scale hand painted block piece that shows Cupid and Psyche intertwined. It also mirrors the Anderson’s marital trials with that of the hardships Cupid and Psyche went through. “It tells the story of Psyche who was mortal who was in love with Cupid. This is where Cupid’s arrow origin story is, but she has to go through various trials, including visiting the underworld to find him.”
“Walter often compared himself to this beast, gruff character and then his wife was really his saving grace for him. Really that strong, loving figure throughout his life and he compared their love.”
The large scale block piece was damaged during Hurricane Katrina and was recently restored. This is the first time it has been on display since that restoration in 2017.