Thomas Moran 1837 - 1926 American, born England Hudson River School Painters, Printmakers
Between 1879 and 1922, Thomas Moran, one of America’s preeminent landscapists, spent most of his summers in East Hampton. In 1884, Moran built a “studio cottage,” as the East Hampton Star then referred to 229 Main Street, which overlooks the verdant common. Born in Lancashire, England, in 1837, he enjoyed gliding across Hook Pond in East Hampton in a gondola once owned by Robert Browning. He sketched various sites in and around East Hampton and Montauk, including Georgica Pond and Napeague, but his fame resides mostly in his large oils of the Grand Canyon, the Three Tetons, and sites around Yellowstone. Many of these works average twenty by thirty feet, and some are as large as thirty by sixty. The panoramic vistas feature dramatic sunsets, ocher rock formations, white-water rapids, and perspectives that stretch for miles. Known also for his watercolors, drawings, etchings, lithographs, engravings, and illustrations, Moran participated at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and other large exhibitions. “I prefer to paint western scenes,” he declared in 1892, “but the Eastern people don’t appreciate the grand scenery of the Rockies. They are not familiar with mountain effects and it is much easier to sell a picture of a Long Island swamp than the grandest picture of Colorado.”
Thomas Moran and Mary Nimmo Moran built an East Hampton home and studio in 1884 after renting for several summers.
Thomas Moran and Mary Nimmo Moran learned of the East End from fellow artists. After renting for several summers they bought land in 1882 and two years later built a home and studio. Moran continued to travel the globe in search of exotic subjects, but East Hampton remained home base. He shipped a gondola from Venice and launched in on a pond near the house, where it became the highlight of frequent gatherings of family and friends.