Meadowlark Gallery: The Artist Biographies

Thomas Moran (1837-1926)

Thomas Moran was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England in 1837 and died in Santa Barbara, California in 1926. He was the son of a hand loom weaver and his uncles were Edward and Peter Moran. The Moran family emigrated in 1844 to Philadelphia where in 1853 Thomas apprenticed to become a wood engraver by sketching designs on the blocks. He began to paint do his first etchings under the direction of Edward Moran in 1856. After exhibiting an oil in 1858, he went west in 1860 to Lake Superior. In the 1860's the Moran family made several trips to Europe and England where they were greatly influenced by Turner and Corot. In 1871, he accompanied the geologist, Dr. F. V. Hayden on a surveying expedition to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. After returning from his trip, he moved his studio to Newark where he began huge Western paintings. In 1872, he visited Yosemite and then in 1873 he painted the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. The U. S. Congress bought the Grand Canyon of the Colorado and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone for $10,000.00 each in 1873. From 1881 to 1911, Thomas Moran traveled almost every year. Moran's western paintings with the distinctive monogram that he developed in 1873 along with the thumbprint affixed from 1911 allowed his works to truly become in demand. Still debunking modern art on his deathbed at the age of 90, Thomas Moran visionary paintings have remained in demand today and in the future.

View high resolution images of works by Thomas Moranwhen available.