Edward Moran

born Bolton, England 1829-died New York City 1901
Media - moran_edward.jpg - 90090
Courtesy Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Bolton, England
New York, New York, United States
  • American

Edward Moran grew up in a family of weavers in Lancashire, England, where he learned to draw from a street artist. He sketched on the fabric on his weaving loom until his exasperated family told him to stop weaving and take up art. They moved to the United States in 1844 and lived in Philadelphia, where Moran studied with the artist James Hamilton. In 1868, Moran submitted a group of paintings to be shown at the Pennsylvania Academy. He was unhappy with the placement of his work, however, and on “varnishing day” cut one of his paintings from the canvas and painted over the rest with an opaque wash. The outraged directors demanded an apology and threatened to leave the damaged paintings in the exhibition. The scandal made its way into the newspapers and people clamored to see the infamous defaced paintings. Moran never apologized to the directors and eventually resigned as a member of the academy. (Schweizer, Edward Moran (1829-1901), American Marine and Landscape Painter, 1979)