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 Edward Moran  (1829 - 1901)

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/New York      Known for: seascape painting, specialty-landscapes

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Ad Code: 2
Edward Moran
from Auction House Records.
Summer Morning, New York Bay
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in England, Edward Moran is best known for his marine paintings, and is credited with the Moran family's entry into the art world.

His family immigrated to Maryland in 1844 from Lancashire, England, where his father was a hand loom weaver.  Edward, who was one of twelve children, left home to work in a cotton factory in Philadelphia.  He impressed his employer with the large, wall-sized, sketches he did, and was encouraged to pursue art as a career.  He and his brother studied and shared a studio in Philadelphia and then both returned for a time to England.  There copying the paintings of J M W Turner heavily influenced them.

In the mid-1850s, when Philadelphia was experiencing the peak of the U.S. clipper ship production, Edward was influenced by James Hamilton, a prominent Irish-born marine painter, and also by landscapist Paul Weber.  This influence is clear in his painting, New Castle on the Delaware. I n turn, Edward Moran had influence on the landscape painter William Washington Girard, who went to New York City about 1900 to study with him.

Edward was known for his silvery tones and loose accents of light.  He developed a style based primarily upon English painting of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and seventeenth-century Dutch painting.  Edward Moran's forte was seascapes.  His Hints for Practical Study of Marine Painting were published in issues of Art Amateur in 1888, and reflected his expertise on the subject. 

Moran was also a history painter, but chose marine painting to represent his work.

Edward was the father of the genre painter Percy (Edward Percy) Moran.  Although Edward's more famous brother, Thomas, known as the primary artist of the final decades of Western exploration, perhaps overshadows him in the history of art, it was commonly thought that at the time of his death in 1901 Edward Moran had no superior in marine painting in America.


Biography from Abby M Taylor Fine Art:
Edward Moran moved with his family to New York City in 1870.  During this time, New York harbor was bustling with marine traffic.  While in New York, Moran had the opportunity to work with the luminist artists John F. Kensett, Martin Johnson Heade and Sanford R. Gifford, who all exhibited regularly at the National Academy of Design.  Moran quickly absorbed the concepts of luminism and for several years experimented with this aesthetic.  As a result, in the early 1870’s his palette brightens, his compositions are simpler, and the light in his paintings is more atmospheric.

Born in England, Edward Moran is best known for his marine paintings, and is credited with the Moran family's entry into the art world.  His family immigrated to Maryland in 1844 from Lancashire, England, where his father was a handloom weaver.  Edward, who was one of twelve children, left home to work in a cotton factory in Philadelphia.  He impressed his employer with the large, wall-sized, sketches he did, and was encouraged to pursue art as a career.  He and his brother studied and shared a studio in Philadelphia and then both returned for a time to England. There copying the paintings of J M W Turner heavily influenced them.

In the mid-1850s, when Philadelphia was experiencing the peak of the U.S. clipper ship production, Edward was influenced by James Hamilton, a prominent Irish-born marine painter, and also by landscapist Paul Weber.

Edward was known for his silvery tones and loose accents of light.  He developed a style based primarily upon English painting of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and seventeenth-century Dutch painting. Edward Moran's forte was seascapes.

Moran was also a history painter, but chose marine painting to represent his work.

Edward was the father of the genre painter Percy (Edward Percy) Moran.  Although Edward's more famous brother, Thomas, known as the primary artist of the final decades of Western exploration, perhaps overshadows him in the history of art, it was commonly thought that at the time of his death in 1901 Edward Moran had no superior in marine painting in America.

Public Collections:
Butler Institute of American Art, OH
Chrysler Museum, VA
National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C.
United States Naval Academy, MD
Denver Art Museum
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.

Memberships:
American Watercolor Society
National Academy of Design
Philadelphia Sketch Club
Society of Illustrators
Lotus Club

Biography from Newman Galleries:
While known for his historical scenes, landscapes and genre paintings, Edward Moran achieved national recognition as a marine painter.  Born in Bolton, England in 1829, he came to America in 1844 with his brothers, Thomas and Peter, and settled in Maryland.

Moran studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia with Paul Weber and James Hamilton.  In 1862, he traveled to England and continued his studies at the Royal Academy.  Upon his return to America in 1877, Moran established his studio in New York City and won acclaim for his marine paintings.

His series of thirteen paintings, influenced by J.M.W. Turner and depicting important epochs in United States marine history, were widely exhibited.

Moran was a member of the National Academy of Design, the American Watercolor Society, and the Lotus Club.

His work is represented in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Denver Art Museum. Moran was part of a great dynasty of American art.  His brothers, Thomas and Peter, and his sons, Percy and Leon, were all distinguished artists.

Moran died in 1901

Source:
Newman Galleries


Biography from The Caldwell Gallery - I:
Edward Moran studied art under Paul Weber and James Hamilton in Philadelphia and traveled to Europe to study in 1862.  He was one of four of his brothers to become artists.

Moran was best known for his marine and shore scenes which usually included fishermen working on their boats.  He traveled to London where he was greatly influenced by J.M.W. Turner.

Moran's work reflected the same sense of drama as Turner, with brilliant skies and bright green-blue turbulent seas.  By 1857 he had established himself as an artist in Philadelphia.  He chose to move to New York City in 1872 where he remained for the rest of his career.

The last decade of his life was dedicated to producing 13 important epochs of U.S. Marine history.  These paintings were widely exhibited but did not garner the expected monetary value of the time

Biography from The John Stewart Gallery:
Edward Moran, the oldest of the artistic Moran brothers, was acknowledged as the impetus behind the family's entry into the art world. "He taught the rest of us Morans all we know about art," stated his famous younger brother Thomas.  During a long and successful career, Edward Moran became a member of the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts and an Associate of the National Academy of Design.

After working at a variety of trades, he turned to painting in the early 1850s. The first twenty-seven years of his artistic career were spent in Philadelphia, where he studied painting with the marine painter James Hamilton and with the landscapist Paul Weber.  Moran's training with Hamilton and Weber is clear in New Castle on the Delaware.  Stylistically, the painting exhibits the careful details and truth to nature of his more detailed early phase.  In 1861, Moran-traveled to London for additional instruction at the Royal Academy, and in 1871 he relocated to the New York area, where he remained for the rest of his life.

Seascapes were Moran's forté.  By the 1880s, the artist was considered such an expert on the subject that his "hints for practical study' of marine painting were published in the September and November, 1888, issues of the Art Amateur.  After his death, an admirer wrote that "As a painter of the sea in its many moods and phases, Edward Moran ... had no superior in America."

In the year New Castle on the Delaware was finished, Moran exhibited two paintings with that title; one was shown at the annual exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the other was exhibited at the National Academy of Design in New York.  One of these paintings may be the version now at the Butler Institute. The painting depicts the town of New Castle, located on the west bank of the Delaware River.  Settled by the Dutch as New Amstel in the 1650s, New Castle is situated about six miles south of Wilmington and less than three miles southwest of the present-day Delaware Memorial Bridge.  The building in the center with a cupola is the terminal building of the New Castle and Frenchtown Turnpike Company, located on the battery, now Battery Park.  Immediately in front of it is the Banks Building, with its porch front, the site of an old market on the wharf.  Near the center of town is a square tower that probably represents the unfinished new Presbyterian Church, construction of which began in 1854.  Further back, at the top of the hill, is the white spire of Immanuel Church, built in 1689 and given its present spire in 1820-22.

As painted by Moran, New Castle Harbor contains the usual complement of sailing vessels, including a boat in the foreground appropriately named the 'New Castle'. Surprisingly, only two boats in the harbor are side-wheelers, the steam-powered vessels introduced earlier in the century that led to the decline of the clipper ships. Moran continued to paint nautical subjects for the rest of his career. After a trip to France from 1877 to 1879, however, his work became broader in handling, less detailed, and more painterly than the Butler Institute painting.

Submitted 10/2002 by Kate Nearpass Ogden


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