Shepard Alonzo Mount1804 - 1868
Born: July 17, 1804, Setauket, Long Island, New York
Died: September 18, 1868, Stony Brook, New York
Shepard Alonzo Mount was the brother of William Sidney Mount, the acclaimed American genre scene painter. Shepard Mount began his career as a carriage painter in New Haven, Connecticut, before attending the National Academy of Design in New York to refine his techniques. After school, the two Mount brothers entered into a portrait painting business together but soon split. Shepherd departed to become an itinerant portrait painter, an occupation for which he became well known. He traveled widely, completing portrait commissions as he went, finding more success traveling to his clients than asking them to come to him. He also painted still life and landscape scenes along the way.
Between 1829 and 1860, Shepard exhibited over one hundred works at the National Academy of Design, but less is known about this Mount brother because he did not leave diaries and letters behind like his more famous brother, William. However, Shepard did write poetry throughout his life, which offers some insight to his traumatic family life and introspective personality. After his death in 1868, his work was all but forgotten until Albert D. Smith, director of the Heckscher Museum in Huntington, Long Island, put together a one-man show of his work in 1945.