James Henry Moser

born Whitby, Ontario, Canada 1854-died Washington, DC 1913
Media - 1966.10.1 - SAAM-1966.10.1_1 - 49048
James Henry Moser, Self-Portrait, 1887, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. James M. Fetherolf, 1966.10.1
Also known as
  • J. H. Moser
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Active in
  • West Cornwall, Connecticut, United States

Born January 1, 1854, in Whitby, Ontario, Canada. His father was an architect. Moved with the family to Columbus, Ohio, 1864. Studied and associated with artists John H. Witt, Frederick S. Church, Frank Miller, and Professor Schroeder. Studied at the Art Students League of New York with Charles H. Davis. In Toledo, Ohio, 1875–77, and visited, exhibited, and sold works in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. Moved with his family to Galveston, then Vicksburg, 1877–79, and then to Atlanta, 1879–86. Painted a series of watercolors for the Great Southern Railroad of Alabama, 1879. Along with Frederick S. Church, illustrated the first edition of Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus (1881). Worked as a free-lance illustrator for Harper's, Century, Leslie's, and the Atlantic Monthly magazines. Married Martha Scoville of Cornwall, Conn., 1883. Lived in Washington, D.C., 1887–1913. His father worked for the Office of the Supervising Architect. Worked as an illustrator for the Washington Times and Harper's. The U. S. National Museum purchased his two large paintings of the slaughter of buffalo, 1888. Instructed Mrs. Benjamin Harrison in watercolors, 1890. Painted murals for the Bolkenhayn Hotel, New York, 1899. Visited Dresden, Paris, and Amsterdam for three months, 1896. During the years 1897–1913, was the art critic and illustrator for the Washington Times and later the Post and Herald. Taught watercolor painting at the Corcoran School of Art, 1899–1913, and at Columbian (George Washington) University. His oil painting Mt. McIntyre [1909.7.49] was purchased for the old National Gallery of Art [now the Smithsonian American Art Museum] by William T. Evans, 1908. Suffered a stroke, 1911. Died November 10, 1913, in Washington, D.C.

Andrew J. Cosentino and Henry H. Glassie The Capital Image: Painters in Washington, 1800–1915 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1983)