Work by Thomas Moran and Other Artists on Exhibit at Zion National Park

Overlook in Zion.

The dramatic landscapes of Zion National Park have inspired generations of artists. NPS photo.

A temporary exhibit featuring work of Thomas Moran and 21 other nationally known artists is on display at Zion National Park through May 26, 2009.

The exhibit, In the Footsteps of Thomas Moran, is part of the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the park. It features contemporary paintings of Zion by living artists as well as original sketches of the area by Thomas Moran.

Thomas Moran established himself as one of the major landscape painters of his day. More than any other artist, Moran created popular interest in the Great American West by bringing the vast, unfamiliar landscapes to Americans living in the East during the nineteenth century.

In July of 1873, Moran visited Zion Canyon while traveling with an expedition led by John Wesley Powell. While at Zion, Moran completed a number of sketches and studies of the landscape. These inspired him to create illustrations and watercolor paintings of Zion throughout his life. In this tradition and to honor the 100th Anniversary of Zion National Park, 21 nationally known artists were invited to paint the landscapes of Zion Canyon in the footsteps of Thomas Moran.

The exhibit is the result of a collaborative partnership between Zion National Park, Zion Natural History Association, Xanterra Parks and Resorts, Z-Arts!, The Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts, Zion Canyon Visitors Bureau, and East Zion Development.

The Zion National Park Centennial recognizes the park’s initial establishment as Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1909. In 1918, the name was changed to Zion National Monument and Congress designated it as Zion National Park in 1919.

The exhibit is on display at the Zion Human History Museum, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is located one half mile north of the park's south entrance on the main park road, or 11 miles west from the east entrance, and is a regular stop on the free Zion Canyon Shuttle System.

In addition to the temporary art exhibit, the museum houses permanent exhibits showcasing American Indian culture, historic pioneer settlement, Zion's growth as a national park, and the effects of water in Zion.

The park website has maps, directions and other information to help you plan a visit to Zion National Park.