Painting of 1895 fire holds its own history

By Jonathan Persson |

The St. Augustine fire of 1895 is brought to life by the new discovery of watercolor paintings by artist Edwin Augustus Moore. Until recently, his paintings were hidden in his New England Home, according to Flagler history professor Tracy Upchurch.

Edwin Augustus Moore was a painter from Hartford, Connecticut. His father, Nelson Augustus Moore, was a painter as well. When Edwin had finished his studies at the Art Students League of New York, he traveled with his father around the country painting various landscapes.

Edwin was staying with his father in St. Augustine when the fire of 1895 happened.

“It is truly serendipitous that this painter was here during the St. Augustine fires and was able to capture the devastating fire and the aftermath,” Rachel Rogers, a Pre-K teacher at Alimacani Elementary School, explained.

The Edwin Moore exhibit is the result of the St. Augustine Historical Society and the Lightner Museum working together in combination with Mark and Elizabeth Kopec, from Connecticut, who presently own the paintings. Visitors to the exhibit will see the paintings as well as photographs that the historical society has provided from their collection.

These paintings are primary documents, a representation that is created during the period of study, according to Bob Harper, executive director of the Lightner Muesum.

“They show the boat basin in St. Augustine that no longer exists,” said Upchurch, recalling one of the paintings in the exhibit.

Every semester Upchurch takes his history students on a walking tour of St. Augustine. During this tour, he brought his students to the exhibit.
“My students really enjoy interpreting visual images, so I took them across the street. I wanted to reinforce the idea that these paintings are visual images meaning that they are primary documents,” said Upchurch.

The Lighter Museum is located on 75 King St. and the Edwin Moore exhibit located on the second floor runs through May 1st. Admission to the museum is free for St. Johns County residents and Flagler College students.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Be the first to comment on "Painting of 1895 fire holds its own history"

Leave a comment