Way Back When: Landscape Artist Lands in Santa Barbara

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Way Back When: Landscape Artist Lands in Santa Barbara
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One of Thomas Moran’s paintings can be seen on the wall of the Oval Office in 2017 [Image: photograph by Pete Souza]

By Betsy J. Green

Thomas Moran, was “perhaps the most eminent landscape painter ever known to American art circles,” according to the local paper in January 1917. The 80-year-old artist and his daughter settled here for a four-month stay.

“Mr. Moran has made his fame in the Rocky Mountain region, especially in the Grand Canyon and the Yellowstone, where he has got the main inspiration in the way of what he calls ‘big scenery.’”

The Santa Barbara Mission was among the local scenes he painted here. One of his works, “The Three Tetons,” was hung in the Oval Office at the White House.


Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1919 -- is now available in local bookstores and at Amazon.com. This is the sixth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at betsyjgreen.com​

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