I paint from memory; everything in my painting is based on something
I remember happening, or something that someone said to me.

Alice Moseley

 

 

Wild Cherries Are for the Birds

Title: Cherries are for the Birds in a Blue Jay World

 

This painting is a flight of fancy, no pun intended, in which blue jays are happily over-indulging in a meal of fermenting cherries. This is a cherry-eating competition for feathered friends only. It is a great example of Miss Alice’s wit and creativity.

Originally purchased by Paul Edelstein, this piece, completed circa 1980, was re-purchased by Tim Moseley and returned to the permanent collection.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original currently part of Museum collection.

 

 

Until Today, I Thought I Was Folks

Title: Until Today, I Thought I Was Folks

 

Joe was given to Alice’s husband, W. J. Moseley, by a friend who sold bird dogs. Although Joe had good bloodlines, the man gave Joe away because he had defective tendons in his right front leg and could not straighten that leg out. Despite his affliction, Joe was a great bird dog – one damp morning Joe found over 20 coveys of quail for Mr. Moseley and his son to shoot at.

“My mom loved Joe because she loved all underdogs and overachievers and Joe was both. When Joe died at, I think, age 12, my mom painted this painting. It was never for sale because it was her memorial to Joe, “says Tim.

“I was crying the whole time I was painting it,” she would tell her visitors.

Shortly before her death, Miss Alice told Tim she worried about her depiction of dogs in one heaven and people in another. She said she was planning to see God as soon as she got to heaven and convince him to put pets and people in the same heaven. Failing that, she said, “I will just get your dad and me transfered to Dog Heaven so I will be there when my sweet Herman arrives!” Herman, shown in the photo of Miss Alice on her “About” page, joined Miss Alice, Mr. Moseley, and good ol’ Joe.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original is currently part of the Museum’s collection and on view.

 

 

Glory Be, Let’s Gather at the River

Tim Moseley recounts this tale

 

My mom “let her nextdoor neighbor at Enid Lake talk her into going to church with them one Sunday, and little did she know that she was going to hear this fire and brimstone preacher try to scare all those present into both a saintly and a tithing life. She was especially appalled when he called all the young people to the front of the church to publicly and tearfully confess their sins, i.e. “God, I told Mama I did my homework Tuesday, and I hadn’t done the last three problems.”

“This whole deal left my mom more than a little angry at what she perceived as the evil done in the name of religion.”

To express her lack of respect for the pseudo-devout, Miss Alice created this piece that tells the story of a preacher whose sermon was a rant and a rave against all alcohol and whose final line was,”EVERY DROP OF BEER, WINE, AND WHISKEY SHOULD BE POURED IN THE RIVER, THIS VERY DAY.” After the preacher’s fiery admonition, there was a long silence to let the impact of the preacher’s words sink in. The choir director then, quite innocently, asked the congregation to open their hymnals to page 64 and join in singing, “Let Us All Gather at the River.”

Miss Alice would then say, “I bet that if they all did gather at the river, some of them would get as drunk as Cooter Brown.”

Who is Cooter Brown? Cooter Brown, sometimes given as Cootie Brown, is a name used in metaphors and similes for drunkenness, mostly in the southern United States. Cooter Brown supposedly lived on the line which divided the North and South during the American Civil War, making him eligible for military draft by either side. With family on both sides of the line, he decided not to fight but to get drunk and stay drunk for the duration of the war so that he would be seen as useless for military purposes and would not be drafted. Ever since, colloquial and proverbial ratings of drunkenness have been benchmarked against the legendary drinker: “as drunk as Cooter Brown” or “drunker than Cooter Brown.”

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original not currently part of Museum collection.

 

 

Living High, Low, and Middle on the Hog

Title: Living High, Low, and Middle on the Hog

 

This painting portrays a day that is large in the memory of men who, as boys, lived in the country and whose families grew a lot of their own food. The title comes from plantation and sharecropping days when you didn’t always pay your help in cash but in meat or produce. What cuts of meat you got depended on your station in life, and is one reason why soul cooking often includes chitterlings and neck bones. “Eating low on the hog” meant those marginal parts of the pig.

Miss Alice’s son, Tim, recalls:

“I remember going with my dad to Louis Dees’ farm in Eudora, Mississippi, and when we got there, we found Mr. Dees getting ready to kill a hog. I was about 12 at the time, and Mr. Dees let me use his .22 rifle. We cosmopolitan folks have to remember where our steaks, hams, etc., come from. Anyway, what I remember about that day is exactly what is portrayed in this print.”

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original not currently part of Museum collection.

 

Three Sheets in the Wind

Title: Three Sheets in the Wind

 

The old man sitting in the foreground is not as drunk as Cooter Brown but he is, as Miss Alice would say, “a little tipsy.” Having been brought up properly, Miss Alice did not like people knowing that she knew what “three sheets in the wind” meant, so she hung three sheets on the clothesline behind him.

This print is a very popular one particularly for regional drinking establishments.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original is currently part of Museum collection.

 

 

Cousin Kitty from the Crescent City

Title: Cousin Kitty from the Crescent City

 

Miss Alice said that, in her day, you would scandalize the community if you didn’t wear black to a funeral, particularly to a country funeral. Cousin Kitty left the country after high school and headed out to New Orleans, also known as the Crescent City. Conservative southerners, and particularly country folk, have always viewed New Orleans as the South’s Sodom or Gomorrah, and their worst fears came true when Cousin Kitty showed up at Aunt Tillie’s funeral in that scarlet red dress.

Tim Moseley shares:

“My mom likes to tell the story about the man who came to the studio who was completely taken with cousin Kitty. As he paid for the print, he said he couldn’t wait until Cousin Kitty was on the wall in his office. “What business are you in?” Mom asked innocently. “Oh, I run the funeral home, and I’ll bet my customers will get a bang out of this,” the man replied. My mom later commented that she wasn’t sure getting a bang out of Cousin Kitty was exactly what people went looking for at the funeral home.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original not currently part of Museum collection.

 

 

When Cotton Was King, I Was the Crown Prince

Title: When Cotton Was King, I Was the Crown Prince

 

In the 1940’s and early 1950’s, the economy of the Mid-South was based primarily on cotton, 40 acres, and a mule. The livelihood of many people depended on the mule. Mules were created by breeding a male donkey with a female horse, and they could reproduce. They were crossbred because mules were much stronger than donkeys and less excitable and easier to handle than horses.

In this print, Alice Moseley depicts the mule as pulling a wagon full of watermelons; giving a ride to several children, one of whom has slipped off the rear end; bringing ice to the cotton fields to refill water jugs; plowing the cotton; pulling a sorghum mill; pulling the fish wagon; and being in the midst of a sitdown strike. Mules were very versatile creatures.

Miss Alice’s husband, W. J. Moseley, worked at the Firestone plant in North Memphis. He obtained their working mules from the Memphis Humane Society which was on his way home. Back then, mules would stray and be picked up just like stray dogs or cats are now. Recalls Tim Moseley, “My dad always had a very large garden, courtesy of his series of mules.”

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original not currently part of Museum collection.

 

 

Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow

Title: Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow

 

This print expresses Miss Alice’s love of teaching and why she considered teaching to be her most important contribution. She saw potential and possibility in every child’s life, and she saw a teacher’s role as nurturing that child, that acorn, to become as tall and strong an oak tree that he or she could become.

Tim Moseley, Miss Alice’s son, says:

“In this print, I am not sure what she wanted to convey with those angelic little girls in their clean white dresses playing so pro-socially, as contrasted to the boys, the younger one looking so trusting and simple, and the older one, with that demonic look on his face. As a teacher, I think mom got the most pride in nurturing, not the acorns with all their potential, but the weed patch kids who she alone could see as having a possibility of turning into flowers.”

Miss Alice’s greatest joy, as a teacher, was being able to motivate many of the unmotivated.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original is not currently part of the Museum collection.

 

 

Labor Versus Management

Title: Labor Versus Management

 

In this work, the mule is on a sitdown strike, and the angrier the farmer gets, the more determinedly stubborn becomes the mule. An old descriptive phrase was, “You are just being mule-headed.” Mules were strong and good workers, but were known for their stubbornness.

This print is a favorite, perhaps because whether we are the labor or the boss, we usually have a strong opinion that there is room for improvement in the way the other side does their job.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original is currently part of the Museum collection.

 

 

Memories of Fredonia Church

Title: Memories of Fredonia Church

 

This painting was commissioned by Sally Patterson, a longtime resident of Como, Mississippi, where the subject matter, the Fredonia Church, is located. The Greek Revival-style building was constructed in 1848 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Panola county’s oldest standing pioneer church, it is 40 feet by 50 feet and built of logs and hand-hewn lumber.

The executor of Sally Patterson’s estate sold this painting to Tim Moseley, who was very pleased at its inclusion in the Museum.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original is currently on display at the Museum.

 

 

From a Shotgun House to a Mansion on a Hill

Title: From a Shotgun House to a Mansion on a Hill

 

Painted in 1984, Miss Alice shares a succinct visual of the meteoric rise of Elvis Presley whom she knew in his younger days. The piece captures, how Elvis’ success in the music business enabled him to move his family from their Lauderdale Court public housing to the Graceland mansion and to give Cadillacs to family and friends alike.

Miss Alice did not receive a Cadillac, but she sure was happy for him.

The painting was originally purchased by Dr. Whiteside in Pontotoc, Mississippi, and acquired for the Museum by Tim Moseley and Mike and Joan Krawcheck in 2005.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original is currently on display at the Museum.

 

 

Town Home on the Yocana (pronounced Yoc A Knee)

Title: Town Home on the Yocana

 

This painting depicts a line of what Mississippians used to call “tenant shacks,” but which Miss Alice elegantly renamed condominiums, on the Yocana River in North Mississippi. This river runs through Oxford and ends at Enid Reservoir, the location of Miss Alice’s former home, Plum Point Retreat. William Faulkner created a mythical Yoknapatawpha County for some of his novels which was based upon and inspired by Lafayette County where the Yocana River flows.

Miss Alice gave this painting to her neighbors Bruce and Mary Lou Wickham who later sold back the painting for the Museum’s collection.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original is currently part of the Museum collection.

 

 

Life Has So Many Angles

Title Life Has So Many Angles

 

This was one of Miss Alice’s favorite works. It can mean many things to many people, and Miss Alice was content with letting each person discover its meaning for themselves. It was a comment on perceptions, reality, and understandings or misunderstandings. Her cautionary thought was “don’t be too sure of your reality, because it is just your perception of reality,” and what you see depends on what point of view you brought to the table.

This painting won first place in a Mississippi Museum of Arts show in 1986 and was inspired by Miss Alice’s friendship with another Mississippi artist, Ethel Wright Mohammed. “Mrs. Mohammed did rural scenes much like my mom, but hers were stitched, not painted,” says Tim.

Attempting to paint in a pattern that a quilter might use was just one example of how Miss Alice challenged herself to discover new angles and how things can be done differently. Miss Alice believed that the world’s problems could be better solved if we all had a better ability to understand each other’s perceptions.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original is currently part of Museum collection.

 

 

The House is Blue, But the Old Lady Ain’t

Title The House is Blue, But the Old Lady Ain’t

 

In 1989, Alice Moseley decided she wanted to move to Bay St. Louis, so she called Jerry Dixon whom she met during a street art show there.

“Jerry, this is Alice Moseley. I have decided that I want to move to Bay Saint Louis.” Jerry said he was somewhat flustered that this 80-year-old woman was taking such a leap of faith. “But Alice you don’t know anyone here,” Jerry intoned.

Alice quickly responded, “I know you.”

As her son, Tim tells us:

“When my mom signed the contract on her Bay St. Louis house on Halloween of that year, we left her “house to be” and drove down by the beach. On the beach, was an older man who looked like the world’s saddest person. Mom took one look at him and said, “I hope to heaven that’s not me in a couple of years.”

“One day, after leaving her bright wedgewood blue house, I rememberd the old man and thought, “the house is blue, but the old lady ain’t!” Mis Alice found that title irresistible, and in spite of her proper eighth grade English-teacher background, she painted the story.

The original painting is on view at the museum and the print is one of our most popular.

P.S. Miss Alice had very few blue days in Bay Saint Louis and Jerry Dixon remained one of her very good friends.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

 

 

If Only the Past Had Been So Bright

Title: “If Only the Past Had Been So Bright”

 

Miss Alice was a progressive lady who judged people by the content of their character, not their race, social status, wealth, or poverty. For those who remember segregated days, they’ll notice her paintings always include behaviors that typically did not happen in the segregated South; i.e., a black and white child sharing a watermelon, or a black lady walking her child and a white child together.

This painting captures people in their daily chores; sense of community was strong and many fondly remember their childhoods of that time. Miss Alice believed much of the stress people feel today comes from their lost sense of connectedness to roots and community.

That said, Miss Alice titled this painting to explicitly make clear to younger people that her paintings were not a celebration of the past, but a tribute to those people, black and white, who not only endured those injustices, but who prevailed over them.

Original is currently on display at the Museum.

$25.00






Available print is 10×16 and will arrive unmatted in cardboard tube.

Original is currently on display at the Museum.