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Harry Siddons Mowbray and Mowbray Family papers, 1872-1976

Biographical Note

Harry Siddons Mowbray (1858-1928) was a painter, muralist, and public servant who was active in New York, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C..
Born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1858, Harry Siddons was orphaned at an early age. He was sent to live with his mother's sister Annie and uncle, George Mowbray, whose name he adopted. Harry Siddons Mowbray attended West Point Military Academy but left to pursue a career as a painter. Upon moving to Paris, Mowbray enrolled at the Atelier Bonnant where he studied under Léon Bonnat. Mowbray received attention for his decorative murals thoughout the East Coast of the United States. His commissions included the J.P. Morgan Library, F. W. Vanderbilt house, Larz Anderson house, Appellate Courthouse of New York City, St. John's Church in Washignton Connecticut, and the Federal Building in Cleveland, Ohio. Later in his career, Mowbray returned to painting and completed theLife of Christ series of works.
In addition to painting, Mowbray served on public commissions and committees. He was a member of the federal Commission of Fine Arts from 1921 until his death in 1928. During this time, he was involved in the planning of many Washington, D.C. memorials and public works including the standardization of the flag of the United States of America. He served as director of the American Academy in Rome from 1903-1904.
Harry Siddons Mowbray married Helen Amelia Millard in 1888. They had one child, George Siddons Mowbray. After his wife's death, Mowbray married her sister, Florence in 1915. Together, Florence and Mowbray had two children. He died in 1928. After her husband's death, Florence Mowbray was active in publishing her husband's autobiography.