Passaic Meadows (In the Newark Meadows)
Thomas Moran ( American, 1837 - 1926 )
American Art Review
Thomas Moran usually painted scenes of grand western panoramas such as Yellowstone, but his etchings often depict intimate scenes of the northeastern United States. Passaic Meadows is exemplary of Moran’s more humble subject matter, showing the Newark Meadows in New Jersey, near the artist’s home in Long Island. In addition to his own compositions, Moran created several etchings based off the works of Charles François Daubigny and other artists, helping to disseminate Barbizon scenes and other European landscapes to American audiences.
Moran was a key figure in the Etching Revival in America, paralleling the efforts of European artists such as Charles Émile Jacque to demonstrate etching’s potential as a medium for creative expression. Moran’s etchings also earned him several admirers in England, including the art critic and social thinker John Ruskin.
Sara Woodbury, DMA label copy, 2011.
Thomas Moran’s art from his 1871 expedition to Yellowstone directly contributed to the establishment of Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately, images like this of the Newark Meadows did not have the same effect. Of the 43 square miles of Newark and Hackensack Meadows, less than 13 square miles of wetlands remain. The Newark Meadows have been entirely developed into urban structures including Newark Liberty International Airport, Port Newark/Elizabeth, and the New Jersey Turnpike.
This print was issued in American Art Review, a journal credited with inspiring the Etching Revival of the late 19th century. The journal lasted for little more than two years because it was so costly to print.