Cliffs of Green River
Oil on canvas
25 1/8 x 45 3/8 in.
signed and dated l.r.: TM [monogram] oran. 1874
titled and signed u.c., in graphite on brown paper attached to stretcher: Valley of the Rio Virgin - TM [monogram]
u.r., in ink on brown paper attached to stretcher: FG # 1
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
In 1871, Moran accompanied a United States Geological Survey expedition to explore the area currently known as Yellowstone National Park. Long a gathering place for the Crow, Blackfoot, Shoshone, and other peoples, this region was still largely unknown to U.S. settlers. On his way to join the Yellowstone expedition, Moran traveled by rail to Green River, Wyoming, where he found himself drawn to the multicolored, sedimentary bluffs rising above the town. These geological landmarks became one of his favorite subjects, repeated in more than 40 canvases over the next 30 years, including this 1874 rendering. Green River was already a major rail crossroads by the time Moran first visited, but it always remained in his mind’s eye a landscape untouched by colonization and industry.
—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023).