Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Art of the American West. Thomas Moran. A-Z Challenge

                    The Grand Canyon.  1913 Thomas Moran (1837-1926)


Dover Publications. Mineola, New York. Great Paintings of the American West.



                            Children of the Mountain. Thomas Moran. 1866.

Dover Publications. Mineaola, New York. Great Paintings of the American West.

Thomas Moran was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England, in 1837.  In 1844 his family moved to Baltimore, then settled in Philadelphia.  When he was 16, Moran began an apprenticeship in a wood engraver's shop.  After two years, left to begin a full-time painting career but he knew he need more training so, like many others, he studied in Europe and was especially interested in the art of J.W. Turner. 

 

He became a well-known painter, engraver and illustrator, working for Scribner's magazine. Through Scribner's he learned of an expedition to Yellowstone and became part of the survey team, sponsored by the Northern Pacific Railroad.  The Northern Pacific was very interested in popularizing the area thinking of expanding their railroad westward.


Moran spent  40 days in the area, and documented over 30 different sites.  His paintings were instrumental in Yellowstone becoming a national park.  His diary of his impressions of his trip is available on:   www.nps.gov/yell/historyculture/moransdiarypage1.htm.


As an extra bonus, these American stamps of the Hudson River School were just released. Notice Thomas Moran's painting in the upper left hand corner. 


Hudson River School Stamps
https:store.usps.com

15 comments:

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    1. He did. And the wonderful part is that the Grand Canyon still looks like that, thanks to these painters and the preservation of these park lands.

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    2. He did. And the wonderful part is that the Grand Canyon still looks like that, thanks to these painters and the preservation of these park lands.

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  2. Wonderful scenery. I often wonder what people who first discovered the Grand Canyon must have thought or felt. I like these paintings and I very much like the stamps too. I can see the Turner influence, one of the few painters I really know something about.

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    1. They do look Turneresque don't they? I think the really serious painters, like writers, work hard at their craft. I am so glad that years ago, I saw the Turners at the Tate gallery.

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  3. Evidently, he's very good with lighting! I would very much love to get a postcard of the Grand Canyon with a Thomas Moran stamp on it!

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    1. That would be terrific. A great keepsake.

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  4. Huge fan of his too....love Hudson River School stuff so much. It really captures the mystique of the old west.

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  5. That's a part of the country I'd love to see and photograph. Haven't yet. Featuring these artists was a great theme,loverofwords! I've seen the hoodoos in Alberta which have that striated look but none of the American southwest or interior north US. So glad these painters took the time to document the landscapes.

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  6. JoJo and D.G. Thank you for your comments. I am learning so much participating in this challenge. I don't think that everyone who does not live in "the West" really has seen some of the magnificent scenery. It has been a while since I have been to Yellowstone Park and the Grand Canyon, but I need to put it on the list, before I take those places for granted, they will always be there, but I......

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  7. One of my favorite places in the world is the Rockwell Museum in Corning, New York http://rockwellmuseum.org/, where they have a wonderful collection of Western art. They have many of the artists you feature this month. Thanks for the memories!

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    1. There is Western Art everywhere. I just never looked because I was not that interested, but now. . .I have changed doing this challenge. Now that I know some names, it will even be better. Who was your favorite artist?

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    2. Remington is probably the most appealing to me, possibly because he painted small, intimate scenes with dark, rich colors. Bierstadt was pretty amazing. But my favorite in the museum has to be Leigh's Buffalo Hunt -- it's HUGE! You feel as if you're THERE. WOW!

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  8. Hi Nat - I love the first painting .. just amazing to see and how in some ways I envisage the Grand Canyon ... I'm glad he's had a stamp produced in that set ... and I've just Marian's comment about the Rockwell Museum in Corning .. interesting ...

    I'm so pleased Thomas' art influenced Yellowstone becoming a National Park .. cheers Hilary

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