Alice Moseley Museum open at Depot
By Geoff Belcher
Mar 8, 2013, 23:21
The Alice Moseley Folk Art & Antique Museum is now open in its new location on the top floor of the historic Bay St. Louis Train Depot.
"I think it's the perfect building for the perfect museum," Curator Geri Bleau said this week. "It's all about Miss Alice."
The late Alice Latimer Mosely – better known to many in Bay St. Louis as "Miss Alice" – was a nationally-acclaimed folk artist, humorist and story-teller. She began painting at age 65 as a way of coping with the stress of caring for her mother, who was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. Alice lived from 1909-2004.
Her son Tim Moseley opened the museum in her former home, "The Blue House," at 214 Bookter St. across from the Depot. The museum board made the decision to move it late last year and began the laborious process of moving everything into the Depot in January.
The goal, Bleau said, was to recreate Miss Alice's house inside the Depot. By all accounts, that goal was reached.
"I have to pinch myself every time I come in here," she said. "From the time I come in in the morning until the time I leave, I'm grinning ear-to-ear – it's the magic of Miss Alice. It's the same feeling that I have when I go into her house."
Aside from her art, the museum contains many of Miss Alice's belongings, pottery, art glass and a wide range of collectible Americana.
"We have her beaded-board walls, we've got her picket fence and we've go her talking," in a 45-minute video that plays on a continuous loop, Bleau said.
Much of the credit for the successful move belongs to Doug St. Amant, Miss Alice's long-time friend who renovated her home after Katrina and who now cares for her companion, Herman, "the smiling dog."
"We started on Jan. 6, and since the building is a historic landmark, we couldn't do anything to change the physical structure," Bleau said. "We could put anything on the walls."
The solution was to build movable bead-board "walls" on which to place Miss Alice's paintings and belongings.
"Tim would say, 'I want blah, blah, blah,' and Doug would say, 'Okay, everybody leave,' and then he would build it," Bleau said.
The museum also includes "Tim's Corner," with a collection of art honoring early blues and rock & roll performers. The window in the corner overlooks the historic 100 Men Hall.
"It will eventually be an interactive exhibit," Bleau said. "This is just the beginning."
The Alice Moseley Fok Art & Antique Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-6 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
The museum will host an official grand opening reception at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 16. Everyone is invited.
There will also be a fund-raising "Tea with Herman" on April 14.
For more information, call 228-467-9223 or go to www.alicemoseley.com.