Thomas Moran (1837-1926)


The works of Thomas Moran have inspired the human spirit and captured imaginations for over 150 years.  Although best known as one of the premiere painters of Western landscapes, he created equally accomplished paintings of Mexico, Italy, and varied seascapes.  His depictions of the Western United States were often America’s first look at the remote lands that later became preserved as national parks.  Indeed, Moran’s illustrations and watercolors painted during Ferdinand Hayden's famous 1871 Geological Survey Expedition to “the Yellow Stone Territory” were instrumental in the creation of Yellowstone National Park.  Fittingly, Mount Moran in neighboring Grand Teton National Park serves to honor his pioneering character.

Moran’s work shown on the Perfect Season label known as “Moonlight in the Canon” is one of the most treasured paintings in Norma and Lamar’s collection.  It was painted during Moran’s travels to Mexico in the 1880s to conduct a field study of an area surrounding the silver mine near Maravatio.  The artist created intricate layers of transparent glazes to capture the luminous quality of the moonscape.   

The painting was selected to portray the importance of the moon’s influence on seasons and viniculture.

View Thomas Moran's work at the National Gallery of Art

Read excerpts from Thomas Moran's diary at the National Park Service website

Read about Thomas Moran on PBS's American Experience