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Thomas Moran began his artistic career as a teenage apprentice to the Philadelphia wood-engraving firm Scattergood & Telfer. Moran found the engraving process "tedious" and spent his free time working on his own watercolors. By the mid 1850s he was drawing the firm's illustrations for publication rather than carving them and he began studying with local painter James Hamilton who introduced him to the work of British artist J. M. W. Turner. Moran traveled to England in 1862 to see Turner's work and he often acknowledged that artist's influence on his use of color and choice of landscapes. During the 1870s and 1880s Moran's designs for wood-engraved illustrations appeared in major magazines and gift oriented publications.
Moran was married to Scottish born Mary Nimmo Moran (1842–1899), an etcher and landscape painter. The couple had two daughters and a son. His brothers Edward (1829–1901), John (1831–1902) and Peter (1841–1914), as well as his nephews Edward Percy Moran (1862–1935) and Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930) were also active as artists. He died in Santa Barbara, California on August 26, 1926.
February 2nd, 2013
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