• Biography

    Edward Moran (1829 - 1901)

    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.


    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.

    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





    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


    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