Cover Art Description:
"The business of a great painter," wrote Thomas Moran to Ferdinand V. Hayden in 1872, "should be the representation of great scenes innature." Few artists are more closely identified with landscape painting of the American West than Thomas Moran (1837-1926), and no American artistis more identified with Yellowstone National Park.
Moran's work, along with Hayden's reports and William Henry Jackson's photographs, persuaded Congress to establish Yellowstone as the nation's first national park in 1872. Earlier that year, Moran completed a number of studio watercolors of places he had visited with Hayden's survey in 1871, including The Yellowstone River (watercolor on paper, 13" x 9-1/2",1872). This work appears on the front cover of the Autumn 1997 issue of Montana The Magazine of Western History courtesy the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Although Moran sought to represent unspoiled nature in his art, as Paul Schullery shows in an article beginning on page 16, Yellowstone's environment has undergone surprising transformations, even in the decade of the park's founding.
Moran's work will receive special recognition beginning this fall, as the Gilcrease Museum and the National Gallery of Art cosponsor the most comprehensive survey of the artist's work in The Thomas Moran Exhibition. The exhibit will be featured at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., September 8, 1997, through January 11, 1998, at the Gilcrease in Tulsa from February 8 through May 10, 1998, and at the Seattle Art Museum, June 11 through August 30, 1998.
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