Thomas Moran Biography

Thomas Moran




Born in the city of Bolton, Lancashire, England in 1837, Thomas Moran was destined to become one of America's greatest landscape artists. He and his family sailed from England in 1844 to America. Thomas showed an early interest in art, and at the age of 15 he sought employment in an engraver's shop...the chosen occupation of young aspiring artist of that day.

In 1856, Tom and his brother Edward rented a studio in Philadelphia to study and apply their craft full time. Deeply influenced by J.M.W. Turner, whose work he had studied on two trips to England, Moran was determined to capture the way things look, including the effects of atmosphere and light on color and form. Moran also stands at the beginning of the conservationist movement in the American West. His first painting of Yellowstone, for instance, was instrumental in the creation there of the first U.S. national park. The West dominated most of his work, and the subject to which he returned most frequently was the Grand Canyon.