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Must-Visit Attraction in Ocean Springs, Mississippi

In my opinion, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art located at 510 Washington Avenue is the crown jewel of Ocean Springs, Mississippi. It is open from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. When you visit Mississippi's Gulf Coast -- a.k.a. The Secret Coast -- it is a stop I highly recommend.

You can certainly pay the admission price ($10 for adults, $5 for students, and free for ages 5 and under) and just walk through on a self-guided tour, but I strongly suggest that you request the guidance of a docent. If Tony DiFatta, the museum's education director, is available, you will want to stay for hours listening to his stories about Walter Anderson's work, personal life, and family. He is an encyclopedia of information. Plus, he's a gifted teacher and communicator.

If you've never heard of Walter Anderson, I suggest you read an abbreviated biography here. There's a lot of sadness in his story, but his acute skills of observation and his understanding of nature and wildlife bring his works to life.

The interior of the Ocean Springs Community Center, attached to the museum, will amaze you, as will the "secret room" inside the museum.

To experience more of the Anderson family story, take a few minutes for an additional stop at Shearwater Pottery at 102 Shearwater Drive. Walter's brother Peter opened the shop in 1928. Walter worked there from time to time and lived in seclusion in the wooded area nearby. Walter was born in 1903 and died shortly after his 62nd birthday in 1965. He produced a vast amount of work in his lifetime, but only a fraction of it has survived.

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