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Cover for Thomas Moran and the Surveying of the American West

Thomas Moran and the Surveying of the American West

Joni Louise Kinsey


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Presenting the first in-depth study of Thomas Moran's early western landscapes, Joni Louise Kinsey describes how the artist created three monumental paintings—The Grand Cañon of the Yellowstone (1872), The Chasm of the Colorado (1873-74), and The Mountain of the Holy Cross (1875)—that, in the aftermath of the Civil War, evoked the nation's spiritual journey and suggestsed its cultural upheaval. The author describes how the paintings reflected a new national identity of both failure and promise, and helped open the West for tourism and travel.

Praise For Thomas Moran and the Surveying of the American West

[Thomas Moran and the Surveying of the American West] significantly enlarges our understanding of how the West was imaged, imagined, and marketed.”—Journal of the West

“By elucidating how his works were part of the larger enterprise of developing and settling the American West, Kinsey contributes a great deal to scholarship on Thomas Moran. . . . Kinsey's book offers the reader valuable insights into the art of Moran, the visual efforts of the Great Surveys, and the complex association of surrounding networks.”—Winterthur Portfolio

Smithsonian Books, 9781560981701, 240pp.

Publication Date: June 17, 1992

About the Author

Joni Louise Kinsey is an associate professor of art history at the University of Iowa.