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Thomas Moran - An Autumn Afternoon

Thomas Moran (1837-1926), American
An Autumn Afternoon, 1878
OIL ON PANEL, 31 ½ x 19 ½ inches
Gift of Mrs. Theodora Willard Best

A pioneering landscapist of the American west whose fame rivaled even that of Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran received international attention and admiration for his portrayals of the Grand Canyon and Yellow­stone. His art and writings expanded aware­ness of the treasures of the western landscape and the need for their protection from com­mercial exploitation.

An Autumn Afternoon depicts a quieter, though no less expressive, phase of Moran's art. Painted at the height of Moran's acclaim as a western artist, the work could as easily depict an eastern forest interior as a western one. The scene is heavy with dark, brooding power, an effect that may result more from dark­ening of the artist's pigments than was his original intention.