Carl “Karl” Moseley was born February 5, 1879 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the son of Charles and Julia Moseley. He accompanied his parents to Limona, Florida in 1882, and developed an affinity for art and displayed impressive drawing skills at a young age. He pursued his art career by studying in New York and had his work published for the first time by the David C. Cook Publishing Company on 1898. He changed the spelling of his name to Karl on the advice of his uncle George Daniels who was a marketing and advertising specialist. In 1903, Karl illustrated Joel Chandler Harris’ book, which was similar to the famed Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit stories. He went on to become a distinguished New York artist with his work appearing in Life, Harpers, and McClure’s Magazine, and other national periodicals.
In the early 1930s, Karl returned to the Moseley Homestead in Limona as a result of the Great Depression and made his home in the Owl’s Junction, a room built above the workshop and tool shed at the family’s home. This became his art studio, and he worked for the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) art project producing numerous pieces depicting “the historical phases of rural life around Tampa”. In 1937, thirty of his works were part of an exhibition at the Fine Arts Building at the Florida State Fair Grounds in Tampa, and in 1938, a Florida Artists Series entitled “A Survey of Activity in Retrospect” toured the state’s Federal Art Galleries. Karl died on November 13, 1964 at age 85 and is buried alongside his family in the Limona Cemetery.
THE ART OF KARL MOSELEY
In 1937, thirty-three of Karl’s black-and-white, pen-and-ink and India ink wash drawings became part of a Works Progress Administration exhibition at the Fine Arts Building at the Florida State Fair Grounds in Tampa. Later, in 1938, a Florida Artists Series entitled “A Survey of Activity in Retrospect” toured the state’s Federal Art Galleries. Karl worked with the Director of the WPA project in Florida, Mrs. Eve Alsman Fuller.