Charles Moss was born in Pawnee City, Nebraska in 1860. He studied art with Meeker in St. Louis, then in 1878 went to Paris where he worked under Bouguereau, Gérôme, Cormon, Ferrier and Bonnat in his studio. He exhibited in the Paris Salon every year he lived in Paris.
Moss returned to the United States in 1883 and stayed in New York temporarily before heading to Ottawa . He was the headmaster of the Ottawa Art School from 1883-1885.
Moss returned to the United States in 1887 and settled in Orange, New Jersey until 1896. In 1896 he returned to Ottawa.
Moss was known for his Québec landscapes, he also created figurative works and portraits.
He was elected an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1897, and full member in 1898.
He is represented in the John Ross Robertson Collection in the Toronto Public Library, the National Gallery of Canada RCA Diploma Collection and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.
Moss exhibited with the National Academy, Water Color Club of New York, Water Color Society, Art Association of Philadelphia, and also in Chicago, Boston and St. Louis.
He died in 1901.