Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Renowned Fairhope Artist Unveils Painting for University of Alabama Library

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Renowned Fairhope Artist Unveils Painting for University of Alabama Library

Article excerpt

The University of Alabama on Sunday took a look back to at its origin.

Dean Mosher, a renowned artist from Fairhope, unveiled his painting of the University of Alabama near the center of the present day Quad as it appeared in 1831.

A ceremony to mark the unveiling of "The Birth of Alabama's First Great University" was held Sunday in the Pearce Grand Foyer of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library.

Mosher, was asked to create the 6-foot by 14-foot, 9-inch canvas by Judy Bonner, UA's president from November 2012 to July 2015.

Mosher had little in the way of photographs for reference when creating the painting of the campus. In fact, he only had one photo.

"There is only one known photograph taken of the early campus that was taken in 1859 by a student in the center of the roof of the President's Mansion looking at the campus" Mosher said.

Mosher began his journey to uncover the past with Craig T. Sheldon, professor emeritus of archaeology Auburn University at Montgomery and Paul Kapp, director of the historic preservation program and associated professor at the University of Illinois at

Urbana-Champaign's School of Architecture.

Together, they researched what materials were used in the construction of the campus and where exactly the original buildings were in proximity to one another.Also involved in re-creating UA's original campus were David Hale, a global positioning expert and Creighton "Peco" Forsman, a model maker.

"We knew we would have to rely upon the previous archeological excavations," Sheldon said. "Fortunately, the records and of all previous excavations were curated at the museum at Moundville. …

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