Karl Anderson (1874-1956) studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and held jobs as a house painter and photo editor before finding work as a magazine illustrator. Anderson longed for further training, so he travelled to Holland to take a class taught by George Hitchcock, an artist who specialized in nature and light effects. Here, he fell in love with the elements of impressionism that Hitchcock taught.
Once he returned to America, he continued work as an illustrator, but didn’t stay long. Anderson spent the summer of 1909 in France with his former classmate, Frederick Frieseke, an impressionist. Anderson specialized in painting nudes with different compositions of light.
As his career progressed, he began to change his painting methods. He introduced fantasy into some of his works while he continued his commercial illustration. Anderson further modified his paintings to become more contemporary, which contrasted from his impressionist style. He contributed works to the Armory Show, a prestigious art exhibit that toured New York, Chicago, and Boston in 1913. His paintings won many awards at annual competitions in Chicago, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and New York.
In the 1930s Anderson taught for the National Academy of Design and continued to experiment with many artistic styles. He contributed ten covers for The Saturday Evening Post.