After the Show
Posted April 16, 2019
"After the Show"
By Dru Oswalt
What a joy to spend a morning with Dean Mosher and his work, particularly his big-as-life paintings portraying Alabama and some of the most pivotal times in its history. Fairhope’s Eastern Shore Art Center Show in January and February powerfully displayed five of Mosher’s paintings that portray several important battles and honor Alabamians from our state’s history.
To see Mosher’s paintings up-close-and-personal is almost a full body experience. All of his work is at least life-size or greater, so while viewing you must move yourself to fully visualize a piece of his work. This scale requires clarity of detail, but Mosher requires of himself strict adherence to all related historic detail, both of which are hallmarks of his paintings. To view them is to have a truly immersive experience of an historic event.
Many of Mosher’s paintings can be found on display all around the eastern U.S. from Ohio, to the United States Naval Academy located in Maryland, and even the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Here in Alabama we are so fortunate to have many of his premier works, complete with Mosher’s own supremely researched historic detail.
Mosher’s strong background in United States Naval history is exemplified in several of the Alabama paintings particularly the Battle of Mobile Bay* and Damn the Torpedoes – Full Speed Ahead!** Also about Alabama, A Grateful Nation Remembers, is an appreciation of Veterans and it hangs in Pell City at the State Veterans Home. Alabama’s First Great University resides in the foyer of the Gorgas Library at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. And still another, Founders Vision: ‘A Fair Hope of Success’ portrays the founders of Fairhope on Mobile Bay which is on permanent display at the Fairhope Museum of History. Most recently, Battle of Fort Mims, which depicts the massacre that escalated the tensions and determination of the settlers during the Creek Indian War, is moving to a new destination (to be determined).
The show at the Eastern Shore Art Center is over but you can still see these works at any of their locations listed. It would be fun if they popped up from time to time in the History Museum of Mobile or the museums of Fort Gaines or Fort Morgan. The works of Dean Mosher are both national and state treasures worth viewing, and for those who are fortunate enough to have encountered them they have truly experienced a pivotal moment in our state’s history – as well as our nation’s.
* Battle of Mobile Bay – permanent collection Mobile Museum of Fine Arts.
**Damn the Torpedoes – Full Speed Ahead! is on permanent display at the United States Naval Museum in Annapolis, Maryland.