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 Louis Mounier  (1852 - 1937)

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Lived/Active: New Jersey/New York / France/England      Known for: portrait and nature study painting, educator

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Louis  Mounier
An example of work by Louis Mounier
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biography was submitted by Kate Nearpass Ogden, Professor of Art History, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey:

Louis Jules Gabriel Mounier was born in Bourges, France on December 21, 1852. The artist described himself as “a son, a grand son, a nephew and a great grand nephew of revolutionists.” He was a descendant of Jean Joseph Mounier, who promoted the meeting of the estates of Dauphin at Vizille (July 20, 1788), which created an immense stir on the eve of the French Revolution. Mounier’s ancestor was secretary of this assembly, and drafted the cahiers ("notebooks") of grievances and remonstrances presented to King Louis XVI. The artist’s father, Jean Baptiste Mounier, was interned in France as a political prisoner.

Mounier studied painting and sculpture at the Association Philotechnique in Paris, receiving several prizes while he was there. He then spent eighteen months in London, during which he mastered the English language. While in England Mounier married his second cousin, Gabrielle Bezou, in a ceremony performed at the Chapel of Windsor Castle. Mounier arrived in New York City in November 1873. He is believed to have directed an art school in New York from 1878 until 1894. In December 1894 he moved to Vineland, New Jersey to recover from “severe nervous prostration.”

In Vineland, Mounier and his wife were well known for their musical talents. Together, they contributed to many charities and social affairs. In 1901 some of Mounier’s art patrons, “knowing his versatile talents, his liberal and unprejudiced views,” arranged for him to lecture on American civics, nature study, and other topics in the Jewish settlements west of Vineland. In 1901 he was therefore hired as “Director of Educational Work and promoter of Americanism and sociability,” a post he maintained until 1917, when World War I began. Beginning in 1915 Mounier also took over the operation of three libraries and the public halls of Carmel, Rosenhayn, and Garton Road; he continued to paint portraits occasionally.

The Vineland (NJ) Historical and Antiquarian Society owns four portraits by Mounier:  a Self-Portrait, a portrait of Dr. William M. Gilbert (Pastor of the First Congregational Unitarian Church in Vineland), a portrait of the American writer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and a portrait of the French writer Victor Hugo. Louis Mounier died in Vineland, New Jersey in 1937.

References:

Louis Mounier, Auto-Biographical Sketch, first edition (Privately published, Vineland, NJ, 1936). 6¾ by 5¾ inches. Accessed online.

"Biographical Sketch of Prof. L. Mounier," The Vineland Historical Magazine, vol. VI, no. 1 (January 1921), p. 167. Accessed online.

Joseph Brandes, Immigrants to Freedom: Jews as Yankee Farmers 1880s to 1960s (Xlibris Corporation, 2009), p. 202.

Images of America: Vineland (Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society, 2011), p.105.


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