The Collection of G. Andrew Bjurman / Thomas Moran (1837-1926) Hance's Canyon paper 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 in. framed 21 x 24 in.
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Gustave A. Buek, Brooklyn and East Hampton, New York, gifted from the artist, 1915.
Thomas Nygard, Inc., Bozeman, Montana.
American Water Colors, The Anderson Galleries, New York, no. 58, no date.
Carol Clark, Thomas Moran: Watercolors of the American West, The Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth, Texas, 1980, no. 119, p. 139.
Nancy K. Anderson, Thomas Moran, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 1997, no. 71, pp. 142, 254, 400, illustrated.
Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art, Thomas Moran, September 28, 1997 - January 11, 1998, no. 71 [the exhibition also travelled to the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, February 8 - May 10, 1998 and the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, June 11 - August 30, 1998], as In the Lava Beds.
Thomas Moran was an intrepid explorer and chronicler of the American West but his 1892 trip, when the present work was executed, proved to be his last major artistically productive adventure. 1 Moran chronicled the present work to his wife Mary Nimmo Moran in a letter posted from Denver, Colorado and dated June 5, 1892: "After dinner we started for the river. The trail was easy enough until we struck the first waterfall in the lava. Here we let ourselves down with ropes and in the same way of six waterfalls. Jackson's photos will show you how we did it. We reached the river about 4 in the afternoon. It was very full and muddy and it seemed to me that the rapids were equal to the Whirlpool rapids at Niagara. Black lava 2000 feet in height was all around us except an occasional glimpse of the higher sandstone peaks in the openings. We were all very tired having descended more than 5000 feet from the brink to the river, but it was a glorious trip. After photographing for an hour, we began the return to where we were to camp for the night about 2 miles up. We had to mount all the falls again by the ropes we came down on, which we accomplished all right and just at dark camped under some rocks about 2 miles from Hance's cabin in the Canon. After a good supper we wrapped ourselves in our blankets and laid on the open ground and slept the sleep of the tired". 2
1 Carol Clark, Thomas Moran Watercolors of the American West, The Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth, Texas, 1980, p. 61.
2 as quoted in Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art, Thomas Moran, September 28, 1997 - January 11, 1998, Thomas Moran to Mary Nimmo Moran, from Denver, 5 June 1892, in Bassford and Fryxell 1967, pp. 90-91.