Mary Moran came to the United States during childhood and did not become interested in art until her marriage in 1862 to the soon-to-be-famous painter, Thomas Moran. Originally a landscape painter, she was far better known after 1880 as a landscape etcher, having been elected in 1879 to the New York Etching Club and, in 1881, to the Painters-Etchers Society of London as the only woman among its sixty-five original members. Mrs. Moran’s paintings and etchings were exhibited sporadically at the National Academy of Design, the Society of American Artists, and, from 1869 to 1899, at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Mary Moran first took up painting to be a better companion for her husband on his many sketching trips. Little is known about her paintings, an activity she indulged in only infrequently after she was induced by her husband to try etching in 1879. She painted and etched directly from nature, a habit readily apparent in [her work].
Peter Bermingham American Art in the Barbizon Mood (Washington, D.C.: National Collection of Fine Arts and Smithsonian Institution Press, 1975)