The Joplin Globe
They say a picture’s worth 1,000 words. In the case of the late Murwin Mosler, well, his photos are still talking to us.
Through the efforts of volunteers, family and the Joplin Museum Complex, the extensive collection of portrait negatives taken by Mosler, a Joplin photographer, were salvaged from his daughter’s home that was destroyed in the May 22, 2011, tornado.
On each envelope, Mosler or his assistant, Mary Ford, had typed the name of the subject, his or her address and a telephone number. On Tuesday, those painstaking efforts paid off as the museum made the negatives available to the portrait subjects.
Joplin area community members were reunited with negatives from sittings for senior photos and wedding portraits. It was a joyous occasion, especially for the thousands of residents who had lost photos in the tornado.
The rescue of some 25,000 negatives buried in the rubble of the home was nothing short of a miracle. The work done by museum staff and other community volunteers is much appreciated, not only in Joplin, but across the nation. The story about Mosler’s negatives has now traveled nationwide.
Brad Belk, museum director, described Mosler’s legacy best:
“His work defines our community. He held on to it. His heirs held on to it because they saw the value of his work. Even today, and at this very moment, his work lives on.”
Thanks to all involved in this Kodak moment.