Domestic and Wild: Peter Moran's Images of America

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Domestic and Wild: Peter Moran's Images of America

In two volumes

Author: David Gilmore Wright

Creo Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 2010

Peter Moran was born in Bolton, England, in 1841 to a family that was to produce an unparalleled legacy in American art. Peter's siblings included the artists Edward (b. 1829), John (b. 1831) and Thomas (b. 1837). The painters Edward Percy Moran and Paul Nimmo Moran were his nephews and his sister-in-law was Mary Nimmo Moran (wife of Thomas). The Moran family immigrated to the United States in 1844 and settled in Philadelphia. Peter apprenticed as a lithographer and by the late 1850s was sharing a studio with his brothers Edward and Thomas. He began exhibiting his work in the early 1860s and eventually began to emerge from the long shadow cast by his brothers, gaining recognition primarily as a painter and etcher of animal subjects of the domesticated variety: cattle, horses, dogs, barnyard fowl and donkeys.

Peter Moran made his first trip to New Mexico in the summer of 1880, arriving in Santa Fe in July and traveling through the pueblos of the Rio Grande Valley and north to Taos. He returned the following summer and might possibly have made a third journey in 1882. During his time in New Mexico Moran visited Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos producing sketches, watercolors and small paintings, a number of which he would develop into etchings and larger oil paintings back home in Philadelphia. He continued to find inspiration in his southwestern experiences up until shortly before his death in 1914. Largely overshadowed by his older brother Thomas's daunting reputation as one of America's greatest painters of western subjects, Peter is nonetheless hugely significant as the first professional artist to develop a genuine body of work documenting life in New Mexico.

Despite the exceptional quality and quantity of his work, the publications devoted to his work have amounted to little more than a few thin pamphlets—until now. With the publication of Domestic and Wild: Peter Moran's Images of America by David Gilmore Wright the first true New Mexico artist is finally getting his due. This handsome two-volume set is lavishly illustrated and includes a biography of the artist, a chronology of his life, lists of artworks exhibited and auctioned, an annotated bibliography and a full catalogue raisonné of prints. The Zaplin Lampert Gallery was honored to have assisted the author in his efforts, particularly as regards Moran's New Mexican oeuvre, and we are pleased to offer Domestic and Wild: Peter Moran's Images of America for sale in the gallery. Limited quantities of this privately published set are currently available for $120 and includes free shipping through January 1, 2011.