Hello, my name is Dr. Julie Aronson. I am the curator of American paintings, sculpture, and drawings; and the curator of Henry Mosler Behind the Scenes: In Celebration of the Jewish Cincinnati Bicentennial. I will be reading the introductory section of the exhibition.
"Strong human sympathy" This is what viewers of the late nineteenth century most admired in the paintings of Henry Mosler (1841–1920). Mosler was born to a German-Jewish family who immigrated to the United States in 1849 and settled in Cincinnati soon after. He apprenticed first as a wood engraver and lithographer, then as a painter in the studio of James Henry Beard. Mosler launched his career as an illustrator during the Civil War, when Harper’s Weekly hired him as an artist-correspondent.
Mosler spent much of his career in Europe. In 1863, he enrolled at the academy in Düsseldorf, Germany, an art center that encouraged his inclination to produce the richly detailed, narrative paintings for which he gained renown. A perpetual student, Mosler pursued further training in Munich in the mid-1870s before settling in Paris. International success came to him for his humble scenes of rural and domestic life, often in the Brittany region of northwestern France. Showered with awards at the annual Paris Salon and other venues, he was the first American artist with work acquired for the French national collection. The artist returned to the United States in 1894 and established a studio in New York City at Carnegie Hall.
Mosler was an avid and accomplished draftsman, as reflected in the more than six hundred drawings in the museum’s collection. For the first time, his oil paintings appear side-by-side with their preparatory studies, affording insight behind the scenes into the creative process of a nineteenth-century painter.
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