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    Sale 1911

    Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture

    29 November 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 184

    Thomas Moran (1827-1926)

    A Street in Laguna, New Mexico

    Price Realised  

    Thomas Moran (1827-1926)
    A Street in Laguna, New Mexico
    signed and dated 'Moran. 1905.' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    20 x 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm.)


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    By the turn of the twentieth century, Thomas Moran was well-renowned as one of America's pre-eminent painters of the American West which the artist first visited in 1871 with geologist F.V. Hayden on the Hayden Survey to the Grand Canyon and the Yellowstone River. The artist would go on to play a pivotal role in convincing Congress to establish the Yellowstone region as a national park in 1872. That year Moran traveled to Yosemite and other parts of California, and later accompanied an expedition to the Grand Canyon with Major Powell's survey team. From 1881 to 1911, he traveled nearly every year, often throughout the West and Southwest.

    In 1892, on a sketching tour from Arizona to Colorado, Moran traveled through New Mexico and stopped in Laguna, an Indian Pueblo village west of Albuquerque. Established by the Spanish government as a pueblo in 1699, Laguna was one of the most recent of the Spanish pueblos, but is believed to have been inhabited by indigenous peoples since at least 1300 A.D. A village rich with tradition and Native American history, Laguna's centuries-old adobe buildings and colorful culture evidently captured the imagination of the artist, as he executed a number of drawings there, and returned to the locale again several times throughout his life.

    In Laguna the artist executed sketches of the daily activities of its native people, along with its breathtaking desert landscape and characteristic adobe structures. These sketches would later become detailed full-scale depictions of the Laguna pueblo, as exemplified by the present work. Painted in 1905, this vivid composition is the culmination of over a decade of visits to the pueblo for Moran. With the blazing southwestern sun cascading over this vibrant village, A Street in Laguna, New Mexico truly captures the warmth and liveliness of this unique setting, while also serving as an important document of the artist's vivid memories of his southwestern travels.

    This painting will be included in Stephen L. Good's and Phyllis Braff's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's works.

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    Provenance

    The artist.
    Fred Harvey Corporation.
    Mr. William Oliver, Baltimore, Maryland.
    Mrs. Alvina Hellman, wife of the above, gift from the above, 1929.
    Sale: C.G. Sloan & Company, Inc., Rockville, Maryland, 19 November 1989, lot 2231.
    [With]Schweitzer Gallery, New York, 1990.
    Acquired by the present owner from the above.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from a Private American Collection