Grand Canyon Grandeur

Exhibition Website

Jun 6 2017 - Dec 31 2017

This exhibition, on loan from The A.P. Hays Collection, includes 100 striking and historically important portrayals of one of the world’s most revered natural wonders. Oil paintings, watercolors and prints dating from the 1850s to the 1950s capture the ecological, sociological and visual diversity of the Grand Canyon, while showcasing a range of artistic styles such as naturalism, impressionism, and abstraction. 

Some of the artworks on display gave viewers around the world their first glimpses of this natural phenomenon, playing a vital role in establishing public interest in the canyon, as well as the international tourism that continues today. These artworks also served as a critical asset in fostering public support for the protection of the Grand Canyon, which was made a national park in 1919. Grand Canyon Grandeur” illustrates how this sublime natural wonder captivated artists from numerous geographic backgrounds, working in diverse artistic styles, and moved them to capture its magnitude. Themes presented include the artist and the viewer, Native Americans at the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River, the American presence at the canyon, exploration, the Colorado Plateau, and the canyon rim. Representations of the canyon are depicted through naturalism, impressionism and abstraction.

Thomas Moran, Eanger Irving Couse, Gustave Baumann, Carl Oscar Borg, and Gunnar Widforss are among the celebrated artists included in this exhibition.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

Whether or not you go, Thomas Moran - a survey of Moran's work throughout his career - presents nearly one hundred of his works, reproduced in color, along with essays by leading authorities that explore his virtuosity in various fields. The book begins with four interpretive biographical essays by Nancy K. Anderson that introduce sections of color plates of works from the major periods in Moran's professional career. A fully illustrated chronology of Moran's life and work accompanies this presentation. Thomas P. Bruhn then discusses Moran's etchings, engravings, and lithographs, and Joni L. Kinsey describes Moran's career as an illustrator. The book also includes three appendices that reproduce, for the first time, a portfolio of fifteen views commissioned by the Prang Chromolithographic Company; Moran's "Opus List"; and a firsthand account of Moran's 1873 trip to the Grand Canyon, written by Justin E. Colburn, a New York Times correspondent.

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  • Various Media
  • American
  • Landscape
  • Thomas Moran
  • E. Irving Couse
  • Gustave Baumann
  • Gunnar Widforss
  • and others

Exhibition Venues & Dates