Thomas Moran Exhibit

Thomas Moran Exhibit

The Thomas Moran Exhibit is located in the Registration Lobby and is available for 24/7 viewing.

Thomas Moran was born on February 12, 1837, in Bolton in Lancashire, England, the son of a handloom weaver. His family, including brothers Edward and Peter, emigrated to the United States in 1844. He grew up in Philadelphia where he was apprenticed to a wood engraver to sketch designs on the blocks. His older brother Edward, an established landscape painter, provided Thomas with his first art lessons. Moran worked initially with watercolor but soon turned to oil. He exhibited his first oil in 1858 and made his first sketching trip westward in 1860.

An opportunity came in the form of Ferdinand V. Hayden’s 1871 Geological Survey Expedition to what is now Yellowstone National Park. Thomas Moran was hired, along with photographer William Henry Jackson, to document the landscape of the region. He could not have chosen a better trip or companion, as the combined talents of Moran and Jackson in documenting the geysers, hot springs, canyons and cliffs of the “Yellowstone Territory” would be instrumental in persuading Congress to set the land aside as a National Park.

Moran continued to travel almost every year to the most notable locations in Colorado, New Mexico, Florida, Arizona, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Europe, and Mexico.

He remains internationally famous for his panoramic landscapes of Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon. Both Mount Moran in the Tetons and Moran Point in Yosemite are named after him.

These prints, from the originals at the BYU Harold B. Lee Library and L. Tom Perry Special Collections, are on loan from Rex and Ruth Maughan’s Yellowstone Collections.

To tour virtually, please visit: Thomas Moran Virtual Museum Exhibit, National Park Service Museum Management Program (