Harry Siddons Mowbray

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Harry Siddons Mowbray
Henry Mowbray.jpg
Born (1858-08-05)August 5, 1858
Alexandria, Egypt
Died 1928
Washington, Connecticut
Nationality American
Education Alfred C. Howland, Léon Bonnat
Movement Orientalism
Idle Hours, from the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Rose Harvest, 1887, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte NC.

Harry Siddons Mowbray (August 5, 1858 – 1928) was an American artist. He executed various painting commissions for J.P. Morgan, F.W. Vanderbilt, and other clients. He served as director of the American Academy in Rome from 1902–4.[1]


Mowbray was born of English parents at Alexandria, Egypt. His father, John Henry Siddons, represented a British bank in Alexandria when his son was born, and died of an insulation a year later. At age five and now living in America, Mowbray's mother died, burnt alive in a domestic accident caused by lamp fuel. Left an orphan, the son was adopted by his aunt, his mother's sister, and her husband, George Mowbray. The family settled at North Adams, Massachusetts.[2] After a year at the United States Military Academy at West Point,[3] he went to Paris and entered the atelier of Leon Bonnat in 1879, his first picture, Aladdin, bringing him to public notice. He studied with Bonnat until 1883. In 1886, he became a member of the Society of American Artists.[4] His painting Evening Breeze received the Clark Prize at the National Academy of Design in 1888, and he was elected to associate membership in the Academy. He was made a full member of the Academy in 1891.[4]

Subsequently Mowbray was best known for his decorative work, especially The Transmission of the Law, Appellate Court House; ceiling for the residence of F. W. Vanderbilt; the ceilings in J.P. Morgan's Library and The Morgan Library & Museum's Annex building;[5] as well as the ceiling and walls of the library of the University Club, all in New York City. This last was executed in Rome, where, in 1903, he was made director of the American Academy.[3] Other works include murals in the Appellate Courthouse and the University Club library in New York; the homes of C.P. Huntington and Larz Anderson; and the Howard M. Metzenbaum U.S. Courthouse in Cleveland, Ohio.[3] He taught at the Art Students League of New York circa 1901.[4] He was a member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts from 1921 to 1928.[6]

Among Mowbray's pupils was the painter Florence Wolf Gotthold.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "H. Siddons Mowbray". Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved 2017-09-29. 
  2. ^ Gerald M. Ackerman, The Orientalists of the American School (ACR Édition Internationale, Paris, 1994), 140
  3. ^ a b c Chisholm 1911, p. 948.
  4. ^ a b c Wilson & Fiske 1900.
  5. ^ MLM staff 2006.
  6. ^ Thomas E. Luebke, ed., Civic Art: A Centennial History of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, 2013): Appendix B, p. 549.
  7. ^ Andrew J. Cosentino (17 November 1983). The Capital Image: Painters in Washington, 1800–1915. Smithsonian. ISBN 978-0-87474-338-8. 



External links[edit]

Media related to Harry Siddons Mowbray at Wikimedia Commons