James Henry Moser (1854-1913)
Where: lived on Cream Hill
When: Sporadically from 1877-1900
Moser was born in Canada and moved to Columbus, Ohio with his family in 1864. He studied with various artists and at the Art Students League of New York. By 1877 he lived in Toledo, Ohio, where he met Lydia Brewster Hubbard. Hubbard introduced Moser to her cousin Martha Scoville, who was visiting from Cornwall. Moser proposed to Scoville before her departure, but she did not give him an answer. Moser continued to travel, work and woo Martha from 1877 to 1883, traveling to Galveston, Vicksburg, and Atlanta. During this time Moser painted a series of watercolors for the Great Southern Railroad; illustrated, with Frederick S. Church, the first edition of Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus; and worked as a free-lance illustrator for Harper’s Century, Leslie’s, and the Atlantic Monthly magazines.
In 1883, Moser married Martha Scoville in Cornwall, after which they lived in Cornwall for a time before moving to Washington, D.C. During their time in Washington the Moser family made frequent visits to Cornwall and even lived there part time, though James Henry was not always able to join them there.
In Washington, D.C., Moser worked as an illustrator for the Washington Times and Harper’s. During this time the National Museum of Art purchased two of his buffalo slaughter paintings, he instructed Mrs. Benjamin Harrison in watercolor painting, and painted murals for the Bolkenhayn Hotel in New York.
Moser traveled to traveled to Dresden, Paris, and Amsterdam for three months after which, from 1897-1913, he was an art critic for the Washington Times, the Post and the Herald, successively. He then taught watercolor painting at the Corcoran School of Art and Columbian University, now known as George Washington University.
Moser and his wife had begun construction on their retirement home in Cornwall; he was months away from retirement when he died of a stroke in Washington, D.C.
Image from the Collection of the Cornwall Historical Society