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About Thomas Moran - American Landscape Painter

Katherine has researched and written about many American and Australian Artists - both past and present

Photo of Thomas Moran By Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896)

Photo of Thomas Moran By Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896)

A Compendium about Thomas Moran (1837-1926)

Find out about the famous American landscape painter Thomas Moran

This compendium website shares information about the art of Thomas Moran - including

  • where you can see his work in museums, art galleries and exhibitions
  • websites where you can see his work online
  • books and articles about his artwork and
  • other resources for artists wanting to improve their knowledge about he worked

"I have always held that the grandest, most beautiful, or wonderful in nature, would, in capable hands, make the grandest, most beautiful, or wonderful pictures."

— Thomas Moran

The life of Thomas Moran - biographical information

Moran standing on a balcony, smoking a cigar. Inscription lower left: "Thomas Moran, 1912". Moran, Thomas, 1837-1926

Moran standing on a balcony, smoking a cigar. Inscription lower left: "Thomas Moran, 1912". Moran, Thomas, 1837-1926

  • Born: Bolton, England 1837
  • Raised: Philadelphia, USA
  • Died: Santa Barbara, California 1926

Bio Summary:

  • British born painter who is now thought of as one of the premier painters of the American landscape
  • a.k.a. "Father of the National Parks" and "the Dean of American Painters"
  • Hired by Scribners as an illustrator and then Chief Illustrator
  • participated in the Washburn-Doane expedition to Yellowstone in 1870
  • Moran's paintings of Yellowstone and their "wonderful coloring" convinced Congress to preseve Yellowstone for posterity - hence why he is regarded as the Father of the National Parks
  • President of the Salmagundi Club 1893-1896.

Artwork Summary:

  • Art Education: self-taught
  • Art Influences: JMW Turner
  • avid and meticulous sketcher - who filled sketchbooks from his travels within the USA and abroad
  • usually produced modest sized paintings
  • great colourist who sustained a good memory for colour
  • painted landscapes which satisfied the Romantic concept of what landscape art should look like
  • exaggerated the scale of the landscape and produced large paintings for the wealthy New York Art Collectors and their substantial mansions
  • Travelled extensively to produce landscape paintings of significance
  • "The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone" is the masterpiece Moran painted as a result of the expedition to Yellowstone. This was displayed for this first time on May 2, 1872, at the Clinton Hall
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, oil on canvas painting by Thomas Moran, 1904

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, oil on canvas painting by Thomas Moran, 1904

Thomas Moran - published by the National Gallery of Art

The catalogue for an exhibition at

  • the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in 1997
  • Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa 1998 and
  • The Seattle Art Museum 1998.
Green River of Wyoming 1878 by Thomas Moran [Public domain],

Green River of Wyoming 1878 by Thomas Moran [Public domain],

Thomas Moran: Yellowstone Man - Kindle Edition

More paintings like this one - in total there are 132 reproductions of the National Parks including:

  • Yosemite,
  • Yellowstone,
  • Grand Canyon, and
  • The Tetons

More about Thomas Moran and his landscape painting

The Artwork of Thomas Moran - a review of his work by Poul Webb

The art blog Poul Webb Art Blog published a five part series of posts based on the chronology of artworks by Thomas Moran

The posts are almost entirely images of artwork. Most of which when clicked can be seen in a larger format. They illustrate what Moran was capable of producing in terms of sketches in the field.

Thomas Moran in Museums and Art Galleries - paintings of the American Landscape

Below you can find some of the examples of paintings by Thomas Moran in Museums and Art Galleries

O'Neil Butte, Grand Canyon, oil on canvas painting by Thomas Moran

O'Neil Butte, Grand Canyon, oil on canvas painting by Thomas Moran

Exhibitions of artwork by Thomas Moran

Rather surprisingly, given his status in American History and the development of landscape art in North America, exhibitions of work by Thoms Moran seem to be few and far between.

The latest exhibition relates to his chromolithographs of Yellowstone - which are full-colored prints created through the process of using ink on specially prepared stones

  • National Gallery of Art - Thomas Moran
    This program's content is based on the exhibition catalogue, brochure, and wall labels for the Thomas Moran exhibition, written by Nancy K. Anderson, associate curator of American and British paintings, National Gallery of Art. The Moran exhibition i
  • Thomas Moran exhibition at the National Gallery of Art
    September 28, 1997 – January 11, 1998 First Retrospective of Landscapes by Thomas Moran at the National Gallery of Art, ; Includes Yellowstone Images that Inspired U.S. Congress to Establish First National Park
  • Yellowstone and the West: The Chromolithographs of Thomas Moran | Gilcrease Museum
    June 8 - September 8, 2013, Gilcrease Museum Yellowstone and the West: The Chromolithographs of Thomas Moran A suite of 15 chromolithographs of watercolors by Thomas Moran. The prints are recognized today as the finest chromolithographs ever produced

Thomas Moran: The Field Sketches, 1856-1923

This is a biography of Thomas Moran which also contains colour and black and white illustrations of his life and travels

Thomas Moran: Artist of the Mountains

This second and revised edition of a biography of Thomas Moran takes a more in-depth look at primary documention. It also takes a chronological approach to covering his life and the subject matter he painted

BOOK: Thomas Moran's West: Chromolithography, High Art, and Popular Taste

Rated: 5.0 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)

This book features 167 photographs, 50 in full color. Moran's chromolithographs of his paintings were the first color images of the Yellowstone National Park made available to a general public who could afford prints but not originals. This book considers this "giclee print" of its day and its place in the story of how technology has made art more accessible to the public.

Frederic Church, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Moran: Tourism and the American Landscape

Rainbow over the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone by Thomas Moran

Rainbow over the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone by Thomas Moran

Thomas Moran in Online Galleries

There are a fair few websites that have a good selection of Thomas Moran paintings which can be browsed online

  • Thomas Moran Online
    Thomas Moran [English-born American Hudson River School Painter, 1837-1926] Guide to pictures of works by Thomas Moran in art museum sites and image archives worldwide.
  • Thomas Moran - The complete works
    Thomas Moran - Homepage. The complete works, large resolution images, ecard, rating, slideshow and more! One of the largest Thomas Moran resource on the web!
  • Thomas Moran
    In-depth study of Thomas Moran's 19th-century American landscape paintingsWeb feature to accompany Exhibition Venues: National Gallery of Art, Washington, 28 September 1997 - 11 January 1998; Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 8 February - 10 May 199
  • Artchive - Thomas Moran
    Thomas Moran images and biography
  • The Athenaeum - Thomas Moran
    Displaying artworks for Thomas Moran
  • Art by Thomas Moran | Museum Syndicate
    Thomas Moran British Painter 1837 AD - 1926 ADThomas Moran's Works of Art Viewing Items 1 - 100 of 239 >>
  • Artist: Thomas Moran | Pinterest
    A Pinterest Board dedicated to Thomas Moran