William Sidney Mount

born Setauket, NY 1807-died Setauket, NY 1868
Media - portrait_image_114918.jpg - 90509
William Sidney Mount, about 1867. Unidentified photographer. Charles Scribner's Sons Art Reference Dept. records, courtesy Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Also known as
  • William S. Mount
Setauket, New York, United States
Setauket, New York, United States
Active in
  • Stony Brook, New York, United States
  • American

William Sidney Mount apprenticed to his older brother as a sign painter in New York. He spent all of his free time sketching in the National Academy of Design and in 1829 established a studio in the city. Mount spent most of his life on Long Island, however, painting portraits of local people and scenes of country life. In 1860 he built a studio in a horse-drawn wagon so that he could travel among the farms undisturbed, painting images of people going about their day-to-day activities. When asked to give a brief history of his life, Mount replied: “Why it would take me three months to shell it all out---to clean the cob all off, and who would feed me with pudding and milk all that while?” (Frankenstein, Painter of Rural America: William Sidney Mount, 1807-1868, 1968)