Thomas Moran

(1837-1926)

Thomas Moran studied art with his brother Edward with which he shared a studio. Moran also traveled to London, Paris and Italy to experience more artistic influences. He was definitely the most famous of the Moran artists. During his trip to London in 1862, Moran was highly influenced by J.M.W. Turner's paintings. He returned to Europe later in 1866 where he met with the artist Corot. Moran is most well known for his panoramic oil scenes in the Far Western frontier including Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. "The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone" (1872) and "Chasm of the Colorado" (1873) were both sold for $10,000 a piece. These paintings encouraged Congress to establish Yellowstone and other areas the National Park System. Moran traveled out West with W.H. Jackson on the Hayden U.S. Geological Survey of Yellowstone in 1871. In fact, Mount Moran is his namesake mountain among the Grand Tentons. Moran made many trips out west until he settled permanently in Santa Barbara, CA in 1916. His paintings reflect his ability to idealize the reality of space with rock formations, plateaus and degrees of moisture and air. Moran made his last trip West in 1923 at the age of 86, just three years before his death.