During the 19th century, the artists of a young America searched for a new way of viewing the world and found it in the very landscapes around them. Inspired by the stunning natural beauty of New York state, the loose-knit Hudson River School of painters flourished from the mid-1830s to the mid-1870s and gave America its first major school of art.
Thomas Moran’s vision of the Western landscape was critical to the creation of Yellowstone National Park. His pencil and watercolor field sketches and paintings captured the grandeur and documented the extraordinary terrain and natural features of the Yellowstone region. Moran's artwork was presented to members of Congress by park proponents. These powerful images of Yellowstone fired the imagination and helped inspire Congress to establish the National Park System in 1916.