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Thomas Moran

Thomas Moran

American, 1837 - 1926

Thomas Moran was born in Bolton, England to an artistic family; three of his brothers also became well respected artists in their own right. The family later moved to America, where Thomas became an apprentice for a wood engraver in Philadelphia and later shared a studio with his brother Edward. It was during this period that he began experimenting with various media such as pencil, ink, charcoal and oil.

Moran's first opportunity to travel west came in 1871, when he joined a geological expedition to Yellowstone country. On this expedition, he became fast friends with photographer William Henry Jackson. Through Jackson's photography and Moran's paintings, Congress pressed forward in establishing Yellowstone National Park.

New Mexico provided ample material for Moran later in his career. He became interested in painting Indians and their environment in Acoma and Laguna. However, he is best remembered for his dramatic scenes of national parks in the Western United States.