Artist. A prolific painter and printmaker of the Hudson River School Art Movement in New York, he would become one of the premier painters of the American West landscape. Born in England, he emigrated with his family to Baltimore, Maryland in 1844 and later moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where, at age 16, he began his art career apprenticing in a wood engraver's shop. After two years, he left to pursue a career as a painter and during the mid-1850s he was working as an illustrator for the Scriber's Monthly magazine, eventually becoming its chief illustrator. In 1862 he travelled to England to study under British landscape artist Joseph Mallord William Turner whose work made a lasting impression on him. In 1871 he was invited by US Geological Survey director Dr. Ferdinand Hayden, along with noted photographer William Henry Jackson, to join an expedition to the Yellowstone region in the American West, where he sketched a variety of locations that he would later convert into paintings. His sketches, along with Jackson's photographs, would capture the nation's attention and help inspire the US Congress to establish the Yellowstone region as the first US national park in 1872. He continued to travel throughout the American West throughout the late 19th century and early 20th century, capturing the scenic beauty on canvas. In 1884 he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Design. Among his noted works include "Under the Trees" (1865), "Great Springs of the Firehole River" (1871), "Yellowstone Canyon" (1872), "Mosquito Trail" (1874), "Cliffs of Green River" (1874), "The Golden Hour" (1875), "Shoshone Falls, Idaho" (1875), "Green River, Wyoming" (1878), "Mist in Kanab Canyon, Utah" (1892), "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone" (1904), "Sunset at Sea" (1906), and Grand Canyon of the Colorado River" (1908). He died at the age of 89. His paintings are held in various museums, including the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in Manhattan, New York City, New York, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC, the Yellowstone Art Museum in Billings, Montana, and the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. One of his paintings, "The Three Tetons" (1895), is displayed on the wall of the White House Oval Office in Washington DC. Mount Moran in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park is named in his honor. He was a younger brother of marine artist Edward Moran.
Bio by: William Bjornstad