The artist was a native of Gotland, Sweden, and came to the United States around 1900, settling in Connecticut. There he studied with prominent portraitist Charles Noel Flagg and was a founding member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1908 he moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he would spend the rest of his career as a major force in the Cape Ann art colony. When the Gloucester Society of Artists was formed in 1922, he was named first vice president and served as president for many years. He was a member the North Shore Arts Association, the Boston Art Club and the Society of Independent Artists.
During the 1930s Anderson also worked as a muralist, under the auspices of the Federal Art Project.
Anderson is known among contemporary artists for an easel he designed for painting large outdoor canvases. The Anderson or “Gloucester Easel” is still being used today.
His paintings, using a heavy impasto and light-filled color, are eagerly sought.