Born: Bolton, Lancashire, England 1841 (or 1842)
Died: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1914
Landscape and animal painter in oil and watercolor, etcher, illustrator.
Peter, the youngest of the four Moran brothers, was brought to the US at 3. He graduated from Harrison Grammar School in Philadelphia in 1857 and was apprenticed to Herline and Hersel, lithographic printers. He soon became the pupil of his brothers Edward and Thomas in their Philadelphia studio. Peter’s interest was in animal subjects rather than marines or landscapes like his more famous brothers. He copied Rosa Bonheur and Van Mercke. In 1863, he returned to England to become the pupil of Landseer but left after seeing Landseer’s work. He maintained his studio in Philadelphia for the rest of his life, making “his mark as a competent and prolific etcher.” In addition to his art, he was said to have been involved in the theater as a scene painter and bit player.
While Thomas Moran made his first trip West in 1871, Peter Moran had already been in New Mexico in 1864. Peter accompanied Thomas on a trip to the Tetons in 1879, taking Union Pacific west to Donner Pass, then traveling south and east to the Teton River. Peter was also with Capt Bourke on the ethnographic trip to Indian pueblos in New Mexico and Arizona in 1881, as mentioned in “The Snake-Dance of the Moquis of Arizona.” In 1890, Peter Moran (along with Julian Scott, Gilbert Gaul, Walter Shirlaw, and Henry R. Poore) was a special agent for the government to take the census among the Indians. The report “Indians Taxed and Indians Not Taxed” included three illustrations by Peter Moran on the Shoshone Agency in Wyoming, published “just at the time the frontier in American history had ceased to exist.”
Resource: SAMUELS’ Encyclopedia of ARTISTS of THE AMERICAN WEST,
Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1985, Castle Publishing