Quilting Bee by Henry Mosler circa 1916-1917
New York, New York 1841-1920
an expert with the needle
she forgets her loss
Published: Asahi Shimbun, Japan (2012)
Biography of Henry Mosler
Gustave Mosler brought his family, including young Henry, to the United States in 1849. The Moslers, like many of their fellow German Jews, escaped the political unrest in their homeland that followed the revolutions of 1848 by settling in Midwestern communities, in this case Cincinnati, Ohio. There, the Moslers became leaders in their community and eventually developed a national reputation based on the family business—the manufacture of safes.
Henry Mosler studied in Cincinnati with portrait and genre painter James Beard for two years and covered the Western theater of the Civil War as an artist-correspondent for Harper's Monthly. He studied for three years in Düsseldorf and Paris before returning home to begin his career. In 1874, Mosler again traveled to Paris, but remained for twenty years this time and developed a reputation for his paintings of Breton peasant life. Mosler's final homecoming to his adopted country came in 1894. In that year he set up a studio in New York City and turned his attention to historical genre with the same eye for detail that marked his earlier work. Paintings such as Pilgrims Grace (the painting that won the artist life membership to the National Arts Club of New York) and Quilting Bee draw upon Mosler's Breton experiences to create a realistic vision of the preindustrial past for modern America.