Mary Nimmo Moran was born in Strathaven, Scotland in 1842. As a child she came to America, where she would later meet her husband and teacher, the well-known landscape painter Thomas Moran. They married in 1862. Mary did not emerge as an artist until learning painting from her husband. Although she was not well known for her paintings, she did develop a talent for capturing romantic landscape, which would later become her signature subject.
Mary Nimmo Moran lived most of her adult life on the east coast, spending about a decade in Newark, New Jersey during the 1870s and 1880s. She and her husband often visited East Hampton, Long Island, where they purchased land in 1882. They built a summer home at East Hampton that they would use as a base while painting and etching the meadows and pastures they came to love.
1878 was a big year for Moran. During that year, her husband introduced her to the etching press and urged her to experiment with it while he was away on a trip to the west coast. When her husband returned, he was so impressed with her work that he sent four of prints etchings to the New York Etching Club, which later elected her as a member. Those same etchings also gained her acceptance into the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers in London.
Moran began to leave her mark on American art as a painter and especially as a printmaker. But Moran was more than an artist; she also managed her husbands’ career. Their daughter Ruth later said, “Without mother, father could never have become what he did. She never allowed any barrier to come between him and his destiny — which was to paint ceaselessly.” Moran also made etchings of many of her husband’s paintings “to help promote them and to serve as illustrations at exhibits, as well as managing all of her husband’s commissions.”
Moran did leave the east coast on a few occasions. She traveled to California twice with her husband, once in 1874 when she painted “Yosemite Falls” and once in 1891 when she painted “Beached Whale Boat, Santa Barbara.” Both were painted with water colors.
Moran died in East Hampton, New Jersey in 1899. She was buried in East Hampton by Goose Pond, a pond she had painted some nineteen years before.
Mary Nimmo Moran “Twixt the Gloaming and the Mirk” original etching, roulette, mezzotint, and sandpaper in sepia ink. Executed in 1883, this impression is on wove paper. One of Mary Nimmo Moran’s nicest compositions. Signed in the plate measuring 8 x 11.50 inches (plate).
Art (paintings, prints, frames)