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John Moran

Bolton, England 1831


Active in:

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


A prominent landscape and architectural photographer in Philadelphia during the 1860s and 1870s, John Moran was the brother of the renowned painters Edward and Thomas Moran.

In 1871 Moran replaced Timothy O'Sullivan as the official photographer for the second U.S. expedition, led by Commander Thomas O. Selfridge, to survey and assess the possibility of constructing a canal across the Isthmus of Darien in Panama. Despite the oppressive heat and humidity in which he had to work, Moran conveyed in his photograph the beauty of this tropical landscape at the terminus of the proposed canal.

Merry A. Foresta American Photographs: The First Century (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996)