Thomas Andersen spent his early childhood in Denmark, his father was from a family who had bred horses for over a hundred years, his mother Estonian, from a seafaring family. Thomas remembers large paintings and tapestries in his grandfather’s farmhouse, perhaps the stories and legends he paints go back to those early years.
Thomas arrived in Australia at age seven and was educated at Friends’ School in Hobart. After jobs at the Hobart Museum and CSIRO, he went to England, having gained a position at the British Museum of Natural History.
During the many expeditions with the museum to different countries he found painting and drawing specimens easy and engrossing. Later he went to sea working on bulk carriers sailing to European and American ports. While a painter, designer and musician he also worked as an expedition artist for the University of Aarhus in Denmark and the Tasmanian Museum.
Throughout these years he played trumpet in various modern jazz groups and held his first exhibition in Copenhagen, the paintings selling almost immediately, his art and the buying public always in harmony.
Returning to Tasmania, Thomas became a fisherman, married, then built Strickland Gallery (now known as Wellington Gallery). He continued to paint prolifically; for commissions, and for the corporate market in Australia and overseas, also holding many solo exhibitions. He maintained a steady output working mostly in acrylic for more than 40 years.
His paintings & sculpture can be found in collections all over the world including Australia, Europe and the United States – to date his work has been exhibited at forty eight solo exhibitions.
His last available works are currently exhibited at Wellington Gallery in the foothills of Mt.Wellington in Hobart, Tasmania. The gallery was built in 1976 and exhibits over one hundred works in three display areas surrounding a fern courtyard.
European myths, legends and jazz have been major themes. Thomas, in the tradition of a long line of story-tellers, has produced many art works which illustrate the fabulous worlds of the imagination or eternal themes, from ancient universal traditions and of course, music.
His paintings are often tableaux with the actors in scenes and situations, but the artist is more interested in their physical and emotional circumstances than in making moral judgments.
Lines and rhythms run through the compositions and rich and somber tones are lightened by flashes of colour, you may be reminded of stained glass windows. The canvas is often composed of coloured elements, separate but combining for the story. The fusion of wonderful colours and semi-abstraction appeals to art lovers of all ages.
1943 Born Newcastle-on-Tyne, England
1946 Moved to Copenhagen, Denmark
1950 Arrived in Tasmania, Australia
1950-59 Educated at Friends’ School, Hobart, Tasmania
1960 Studied Life Drawing at the Hobart Technical College under Jack Carrington-Smith while working at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery
1961 Traveled to England and studied sculpture and drawing with Roland Ward, London
1962-64 Conservator and Expedition artist with the British Museum of Natural History, London
1964-66 Conservator, Aarhus University, Denmark, studied painting under Nils Jorgensen. First solo exhibition in Copenhagen, 1966. Traveled to Canada, USA, North Africa, Middle East
1970 Returned to Tasmania overland and began painting full-time
1976 Built Strickland Gallery, South Hobart, Tasmania
1994 Opened Strickland Gallery in the Sheraton Hobart Hotel, Tasmania
1999 Opened Temple Place, Hobart, Tasmania
2001 Opened Wellington Gallery, South Hobart, Tasmania
2007 Book on Thomas Andersen’s life is released – written by Gary Cleveland, born in St Louis, Missouri USA.
1966 Ny Kunst Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
1970-71 Saddlers Court Gallery, Richmond, Tasmania.
1970 Munster Arms Gallery, Melbourne
1971 Hobart Town Galleries, Hobart
1972 Mosman Gallery, Sydney
1973 Fisher Fine Art Gallery, Gold Coast, Queensland
1974 Saunders Gallery, Gold Coast, Queensland
1975 Colonial Gallery, Evandale, Tasmania
1976 Long Gallery, Salamanca Place, Hobart
1977 Saddlers Court Gallery, Richmond, Tasmania
1978 Strickland Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
1983 Bethany Gallery, South Australia
1984 Gallery 10, Salamanca Place, Hobart
1985-95 Strickland Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
1991 Sheraton Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania
1992 Wrest Point Hotel, Hobart, Tasmania
1994 Strickland At The Sheraton Gallery, Hobart
1995-01 Grand Chancellor Gallery, Hobart
2001 Red Chapel Gallery, Hobart
2002 Red Chapel Gallery, Hobart
2002 Manyung Gallery, Mt. Eliza, Victoria
2003 Manyung Gallery, Mt. Eliza, Victoria
2003 Grand Chancellor Gallery, Hobart
2004 Manyung Gallery, Mt. Eliza, Victoria
2005 Nautilus Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
2006 Jazz Kaelderen, Copenhagen, Denmark
2006 Excellent Experiences Gallery, Santa Cruz, California, USA
2007 Nautilus Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
2008 Wellington Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
2008 Galeria 200, Lisbon, Portugal
THOMAS ANDERSEN’S WORK HAS ALSO BEEN EXHIBITED IN 45 GROUP EXHIBITIONS IN AUSTRALIA AND OVERSEAS.
1996 First Prize, Wrest Point Art Award for Oil Painting
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
1997 First Prize, Henry Lawson Art Award, Open Section
New South Wales, Australia
2004 First Prize, Wrest Point Art Award, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
2008 First Prize, Wrest Point Art Award, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
THOMAS ANDERSEN’S WORK IS REPRESENTED IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS INCLUDING:
Rothschild Collection, London, United Kingdom
University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Goldberg Collection, New York, USA
Union Steel, Minnesota, USA
Seattle Transit, USA
Chicago Transit Authority, USA
Hawaiian Yacht Club, USA
Durham Mining Corp, Dallas, Texas, USA
Garland Steel Corp, Nebraska, USA
The Robbins Tunnel Boring Co USA
University Toronto, Canada
Lima Cathedral, Peru
Danish Royal Family, Denmark
Sheraton Hotel International
Westpac Banking Corporation
Bonython Collection, Australia
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
The Hobart College, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
St. Michaels Collegiate School, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
University Of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Tasmanian Development Authority, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Robbins Co Australia
Elders IXL, Australia
Royal Yacht Club Of Tasmania
Mt. Isa Mining Co, Australia
MacDonald’s, Australia Inc.
Parliament House Tasmania, Australia
C.I.G Australia LTD.
Federal Casino Group, Australia
Tasmania Fire Service, Australia
Melbourne Board Of Works, Australia
Glenorchy City Council, Tasmania, Australia
Royal Hobart Hospital, Tasmania, Australia
Calvary Hospital, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Western Mining, Australia
The Friends’ School, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
The Grand Chancellor Hotel, Melbourne, Australia
Riversdale Wineries, Tasmania, Australia
Portico Global Holdings, Australia
REPRESENTED IN PUBLICATIONS:
The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire by Ted Gioia.
Oxford University Press, 2012, New York.
A Thomas Andersen painting was used for the cover of the publication.
Global Estonia by Aavo Kokk and Andres Eilart.
Thomas Andersen was the artist chosen for the Tasmanian section of the publication.