In 1871, the young artist Thomas Moran joined a scientific expedition to a mysterious, uncharted region of the American west. Trappers, prospectors, and traders called it The Yellowstone, after the river that began among its high mountains. They told stories of hot springs, geysers, mud volcanoes, deep canyons, a huge alpine lake, and more. Some were clearly tall tales; petrified trees with petrified birds singing petrified songs fooled no one. Other stories, like the mountain made of glass, or the canyon with phenomenal echoes, stretched the imagination, but might have a grain of truth to them. The year was 1871. It was time for disciplined men of science to investigate.
Moran's job was to portray the wonders of Yellowstone through paintings. He did so well that his work proved an important factor in convincing Congress to establish the world's first national park. The expedition also made him famous. His grand, romantic paintings were much in demand.
This book contains many of his best Yellowstone works, from 1871 through later years. Also included are field sketches, rough pencil drawings, a number of photographs of the expedition made by William Henry Jackson, the official expedition photographer, and a slide show of Thomas Moran's original diary of that historic summer.
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A fine collection
Anyone who likes the paintings of Thomas Moran will get a thrill from seeing them on an iPad screen. This is a broad collection of his Yellowstone work. I've seen some of them (reproductions) in the park visitor centers and once I visited the famous 1871 painting of the Grand Canyon (Yellowstone, not Colorado) in Washington DC. Nothing is as good as the original, of course, but the iPad sure does a good job.
I like the comparison images, where you can pop-up a photo made by WH Jackson beside Moran's painting. And the sketches where you can see his simple pencil drawings beside the finished paintings. Cool idea, only on an iPad.