Reader Participation Day, Fine Arts Division: Thomas Moran, Albert Bierstadt, or Maynard Dixon?

Top image, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone by Moran, courtesy of Bottom image, Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite, which can be found in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

If cost were no object, whose national park painting would you hang on your wall? Would it be a Thomas Moran, an Albert Bierstadt, or a Maynard Dixon?

Some view Moran as the dean of 19th century Western landscape paintings, and his expansive depictions of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone were used to urge Congress to create the world's first national park. Bierstadt, another of the great 19th century landscape painters and, like Moran, a disciple of the Hudson River School, was equal to the task, though some view his paintings as more brooding than those of Moran. Case in point, Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite Valley, which he painted around 1872.

Dixon was a somewhat more recent painter of Western landscapes, though no less accomplished. Of course, his efforts were more focused on the Southwest.

So, whose works would you like hanging on your walls?


I had the pleasure of seeing a Bierstadt at the Seattle Art Museum recently, and found myself coming back to sit in front of it and just sit & enjoy it for a while.

Bierstadt, and there is a Bierstadt collection at the Haggin Museum in Stockton.

Bierstadt. Although I could be quite happy with a free Moran painting as well.

Bierstadt: There's something about the atmosphere of Bierstadt's paintings.

Moran - Bierstadt is a little too much of a romantic painter; Moran paints the experience I remember even if it's not true to a photograph ...

I don't really know Dixon.

Jim Macdonald
The Magic of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Newspaper
Jim's Eclectic World