The East Hampton Historical Society presents

Thomas Moran Discovers the American West

Exhibition dates: June 29 – November 9, 2019

Summer Hours: Fridays & Saturdays 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.


The historically significant Moran Studio is the newest member of

The Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program


The East Hampton Historical Society, stewards of the Thomas & Mary Nimmo Moran Studio, announce their newest exhibition: Thomas Moran Discovers the American West, on display from June 29 until November 9, 2019. This artful and historically curated exhibition details Moran’s adventurous participation in the 1871 Hayden Expedition to Wyoming, and explores its impact on both the art world and the National Parks Service.


Above Tower Falls, Yellowstone, Thomas Moran. Courtesy of Guild Hall.  Gift of Ruth B. Moran


The exhibition traces Thomas Moran’s empowerment as an artist as he explored the American West on a trajectory to become one of the leaders of both the National Parks movement, and a small group of artists who promote America’s pride in its landscape and natural wonders.

The substantial portion of this exhibit is material that is returning to Mr. Moran’s Studio after being gifted to Yellowstone National Park in the 1940s.  This enlightening collection of his watercolors, a sketchbook, oil paintings and even the pistol he shot a rattlesnake with, form the core of what will be an illustrated story of Thomas Moran and his help in making Americans appreciate their natural treasures.


The Great Blue Spring of the Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone. Thomas Moran. Chromolithograph, by Prang 1875. Department of the Interior, Yellowstone National Park


Rare loans from the National Park Service will supplement the exhibit, including period maps, stereographic cards, wood engravings, photographs and important late 19th century publications that support this story of Thomas Moran, the founder of East Hampton’s artists’ colony.


Moran Studio, Interior, Main Floor. Photo @ Jeff Heatley.


Thomas Moran Discovers the American West”, has been brought to life through this current exhibition, on display at the immaculately renovated Moran Studio, located on East Hampton’s Main Street Historic District.  This charming turreted Queen Anne shingled piece of Victorian architecture is a local gem, registered as a National Historic Landmark, and recently has the distinct honor of being the newest member of The Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios (HAHS) Program of The National Trust for Historic Preservation. This special exhibition and its associated educational programming celebrate the second year of operation for the Moran’s Studio. 


The Studio of Thomas and Mary Nimmo Moran

In 1884, the great American landscape painter Thomas Moran and his wife, Mary Nimmo Moran, a celebrated printmaker, and their children moved into their new studio and house that Moran himself designed on East Hampton’s historical Main Street. The Studio, as it has been known since the Moran family first occupied it, comprises Thomas Moran’s studio and the rooms they lived in, as well as the gardens and outbuildings. 

The Moran Studio was the first artist’s studio built in East Hampton and it played a significant role in American art history. In its heyday, The Studio was a lively center of the turn-of-the-19th-century art colony. 

Through a meticulous five-year restoration project, the Moran Studio was salvaged from dilapidation, and proudly opened its doors to the public in July 2018.* 

Overlooking the Village Green and Town Pond, the property offers one of the most distinguished vistas on Long Island’s East End and serves as the gateway to East Hampton’s Main Street Historic District. In 1965, the Thomas Moran Studio became one of the first National Historic Landmarks in America — the highest recognition accorded by the Department of the Interior to the nation’s most historically significant properties. In 2019 the Thomas and Mary Nimmo Moran Studio was accepted into The Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios (HAHS) program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation – a distinguished honor!


The Thomas Moran & Mary Nimmo Moran Studio, Main Street, East Hampton


“The vision of the Moran Studio,” said Maria Vann, Executive Director of the East Hampton Historical Society, “is to provide visitors ‘an experience of place’ that holds historic, artistic, and cultural value.” 

With an exciting and new educational platform of events, the Moran Studio will be a site of diversified educational programs for students and families to learn and experience topics such as art, landscape, architecture, and local history. 

“Having visitors experience a place where history actually happened can be a very powerful tool for imagination and understanding,” said Ms. Vann.

Under the stewardship of the East Hampton Historical Society, the Moran Studio will once again become a beacon of art and culture – as it was in its heyday – a site that serves the community, educates, and enlightens through interpretive exhibitions. The Studio invokes not only the spirits of both Thomas and Mary Nimmo Moran – but creates a bridge between the founding members of the East End summer artist colony with today’s contemporary and emerging young art community.

“The significance of the Morans and their role locally and nationally is of great importance to the world of art,” said Ms. Vann, “but in a broader sense because of Thomas Moran’s role in the founding of our National Parks.”  


Exhibition Sponsors:

The Davis Family

Gates Capital Management

Jeff Gates & Mike Moran






AAQ Resource: Riverhead Toyota