The Moweaqua Coal Mine Museum has announced the recent acquisition of Rex Parker’s “Always” and “Moweaqua’s Christmas Angels.” Each of Rex’s dramatic posters celebrates the extraordinary lives and hardships of the hard-working heroes of the Moweaqua coal mining -community. His powerful images further enhance the Moweaqua Coal Mine Museum’s collection of unique artifacts, from small gas detectors, miners’ lamps, historical documents, rare vintage photographs, exhibitions and geological coal samples from the mine. These are the first posters by the artist to enter the museum’s collection.
Parker has a unique connection to the museum location: His grandparents owned the building in the 1940’s and ran the Parker Feed Store with a little roadside fruit stand, “It was a community gathering spot, a lot like Starbucks today,” said Rex’s father John Haldon Parker.
Parker used a unforgiving, gritty pointillism style, with a blue monochromatic palette to express these uniquely American subjects. The audacious “Always” poster shows the noble dignity of Moweaqua coal miners, enduring backbreaking labor in the dark labyrinths of the coal mine.
The “Moweaqua’s Christmas Angels” poster is a touching tribute to the final chapter of the Moweaqua coal mine that was written at 8:15 a.m. on December 24, 1932, when an explosion of methane gas blew through the mine, killing 54 miners at work on that heartbreaking Christmas Eve.