“Tung Mill” by Carlos Alpha “Shiney” Moon

—by Mark Harris, Founder & Director of the DAC Foundation

A major part of the mission of the Dixie Art Colony Foundation is the preservation of Dixie Art Colony related artwork and ephemera. When we acquire artwork, photographs, and other ephemera, we carefully evaluate them. If restoration is needed to restore a piece of artwork, vintage photograph or another paper item, we take immediate action to work with professionals to properly restore the items. We also make sure that everything is stored properly in an acid-free, climate controlled environment, and that it is properly protected from excessive UV rays. In addition, we catalog and have professional digital images made of each item that is donated.

Carlos Alpha "Shiney" Moon, Tung Mill, watercolor on board, 1953, 30"x 22"  |  DAC Foundation Collection
Gift of Martha Moon Kracke, Mobile, Alabama

This painting by Carlos Alpha “Shiney” Moon titled “Tung Mill” was donated to the Dixie Art Colony Foundation by Martha Moon Kracke, the daughter of DAC artist Shiney Moon. The unusually large watercolor painting measuring 30” x 22” was painted on illustration board. On the reverse side of the painting was a label including the date of May 23, 1953. The label indicates that the painting was included the 1953 Watercolor Society of Alabama exhibition held at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. On July 27, 1953, less than 65 days later, Moon passed away in Florala, Alabama at the age of 47 from a heart attack.

When we received the painting it had what is called “foxing” on the front surface. Therefore, before allowing it to come into contact with any of our other paper pieces, we had the painting treated and cleaned to make sure the “foxing” (a type of mold) would not spread or migrate to other paper pieces in our collection. We always have all of our paper pieces placed in an archival mat with UV blocking glass to ensure that the artwork will remain in good condition to be viewed and enjoyed for many generations to come. This painting depicts a scene of the old Tung Oil Mill once located in Florala, Alabama. Today there is still a street in Florala named Tung Oil Road.

The tung oil tree originated in southern, however, the date of cultivation is unknown. Today, tung oil is still a popular wood furniture finish. Tung oil is considered a natural or “green” product created by pressing the seed from the nut of the tung tree.

Vernicia fordii, commonly known as the tung tree is a species of Vernicia, a small to medium-sized deciduous tree growing up to 25 feet tall. The tree thrives in the American Deep South, where they grow rapidly under favorable soil conditions. Source: Wikipedia.org

Dixie Art Colony Foundation

Shown above are a couple of our new artwork labels, which include a photograph of the artist, a brief biography about the artist, and details about the painting.

Please join the DAC Foundation and the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, February 21 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at our DAC Foundation Gallery located at 219 Hill Street in downtown Wetumpka to see this painting and more than 20 other works of art by DAC artists. For more information call us at 334-513-1086.

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