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Image of Below the Towers of Tower Falls, Yellowstone Park

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Below the Towers of Tower Falls, Yellowstone Park

Thomas Moran, American (born Britain), (January 12, 1837–August 26, 1926)

Creation date: 1909
Creation place: United States

Other Information

Type: Oil Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of Lydia and Etta Schwieder
Accession Number: 1968.48
State/Province: Wyoming
Dimensions: 30 in. x 25 1/16 in. (76.2 cm x 63.66 cm)
Currently on view


Etta Anna Schwieder, San Diego, California (ca. 1913 - June 12, 1968)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (June 12, 1968 - )

Label Copy

Although Thomas Moran was born in England, he is often credited as being one of the first American painters to portray the topography of the American West. His father, an artisan weaver, came to the United States in 1842 and established a place for his family near Philadelphia, and by 1844, the entire family was reunited. In 1871, after reworking sketches of Yellowstone for Scribner’s Monthly, Moran was so inspired that he obtained funding to join Ferdinand Hayden’s expedition to the Yellowstone region for the U.S. Geological Survey of the Territories. Moran’s paintings and the photographs of William Henry Jackson (1843–1942) encouraged the U.S. Congress to make Yellowstone a national park. The area Moran depicts in Below the Towers of Tower Falls, Yellowstone Park was one of his favorite spots. Moran emphasizes the tall trees and shale warmed by the yellow hues of sunshine.
October 18, 2014
Anita Feldman, Deputy Director of Exhibitions Collections and Exhibitions
Thomas Moran
American, born in England • 1837–1926
Below the Towers of Tower Falls, Yellowstone Park
Oil on canvas • 1909
Moran came to the United States from his home in Bolton, England at the age of seven. He first worked as an engraver, eventually becoming chief illustrator for Scribner’s Monthly magazine. Moran greatly admired the work of the English painter J. M. W. Turner which he saw during several visits to England, and as he developed his career painting landscapes he was deeply influenced by Turner’s color technique. In 1871 Moran accompanied the Hayden Geological Survey of the Yellowstone Valley, making hundreds of pencil and water- color sketches which later served as the basis for numerous oil paintings. For more than twenty years, Moran made other excursions throughout the American west, depicting the varied landscapes.
Gift of Lydia and Etta Schwieder
Last Updated: 10/6/2022


This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Wilderness Corcoran Museum of Art , 10/1/1971 - 11/14/1971

Modern and Contemporary , 12/21/2013 - 00/00/00

Art of the Americas San Diego Museum of Art , 12/23/2013 - 00/00/00

American Visions: Place and Identity The San Diego Museum of Art , 10/18/2014 - 3/17/2015

Art of the 20th Century , 3/28/2015 - 8/16/2015

American Art The San Diego Museum of Art , 11/26/2016 - 8/15/2021


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Showing 18 of 271

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