The Carolina Inn at UNC Chapel Hill revealed today a lost painting by a then-unknown artist who would later go on to win three Pulitzer Prizes and make an icon out of a UNC-CH journalism professor.
The painting by Jeff MacNelly, creator of the comic strip "Shoe," was recently acquired by the Carolina Inn nearly 40 years after it was painted.
MacNelly did the painting on commission around 1969, and it was used prominently for two decades in inn brochures and other promotional materials. But the original painting was considered lost until a couple bought it in the early 1990s at a yard sale in High Point. In recent months, they sold it to the inn.
The painting must be cleaned before it is put on display, and inn officials said this morning they aren't yet sure where in the inn it will be displayed.
MacNelly made a celebrity out of Jim Shumaker, a popular UNC-CH journalism professor about whom the comic strip's main character is based. For decades, he also drew editorial cartoons for the Richmond News Leader and later the Chicago Tribune.