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Sympathy and the “Shoshone” A letter from Thomas Moran’s daughter to Stephen Mather

In a February 1929 letter from Monte Carlo, Ruth Moran wrote to Stephen Mather…


 “I was so sorry to hear of your illness last autumn, and a few weeks ago to hear that you had been compelled to give up your splendid work—it is a great loss to the country…You have been such an inspiration with your will to do and accomplish, that I believe it is a blow to all who know of your work…”


Ruth Moran was the daughter of Thomas Moran, and she goes on to write…


“…I want to thank you for your interest in the ‘Shoshone’ canvas by Mr. Moran…I am most anxious to place this picture of the great falls where it should be…it is a magnificent picture.  I feel it should be in Idaho if possible and in a public place…”


Thomas Moran (1837-1926) was an artist of the Hudson River School and equally known for his Western landscapes.   From the National Gallery of Art website:

“Moran's trip to Yellowstone in 1871 marked the turning point of his career…He borrowed money to make the trip himself. Numerous paintings and commissions resulted from this journey, but the sale of his enormous (7 by 12 feet) Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (1872, National Museum of American Art) to Congress shortly after passage of the bill that set Yellowstone aside as the first National Park, brought Moran considerable attention…At his death in 1926, he was memorialized as the "Dean of American Landscape Painters."


The “‘Shoshone’ canvas” [Shoshone Falls on the Snake River] was indeed magnificent—and large

 (6-1/4 x 12-1/3 feet).  Not in Idaho, it is now in the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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