#FineArtFriday: Shoshone Falls on the Snake River by Thomas Moran 1900

About the Artist, Via Wikipedia:

Thomas Moran (February 12, 1837 – August 25, 1926) was an American painter and printmaker of the Hudson River School in New York whose work often featured the Rocky Mountains. Moran and his family, wife Mary Nimmo Moran and daughter Ruth, took residence in New York where he obtained work as an artist. He was a younger brother of the noted marine artist Edward Moran, with whom he shared a studio. A talented illustrator and exquisite colorist, Thomas Moran was hired as an illustrator at Scribner’s Monthly. During the late 1860s, he was appointed the chief illustrator for the magazine, a position that helped him launch his career as one of the premier painters of the American landscape, in particular, the American West. [1]

Moran, along with Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Hill, and William Keith are sometimes referred to as belonging to the Rocky Mountain School of landscape painters because of all of the Western landscapes made by this group. [1]

Shoshone Falls is a waterfall on the Snake River in southern Idaho, United States, approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) northeast of the city of Twin Falls. Once called the “Niagara of the West,” Shoshone Falls is 212 feet (65 m) high—45 feet (14 m) higher than Niagara Falls—and originally flowed over a rim nearly 1,000 feet (300 m) wide. However, in 1900, Ira Burton Perrine led the drive to divert the Snake River at Caldron Linn, a point approximately 24 miles (39 km) upstream of Shoshone Falls. Now a fraction of its original width and volume, the falls remain a tourist destination.

Senator William A. Clark and others who owned land at Shoshone Falls filed a lawsuit against the Twin Falls Land and Water Company but were defeated in the Idaho Supreme Court in 1904. Despite his efforts, the Milner Dam and the major canals required to deliver water were completed by 1905. [2]

“On March 1, 1905, Frank Buhl gave a ceremonial pull on the wheel on a winch, and the gates of Milner Dam were closed, and the gates to a thousand miles of canal and laterals were opened, and the Snake River was diverted, and that night Shoshone Falls went dry as the water rushed across the desert far above, and Perrine’s vision was realized, and 262,000 acres of desert were shortly transformed.” [3]

Shoshone Falls, Idaho viewed from the northwest 2013 Famartin [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Credits and Attributions:


Shoshone Falls on the Snake River by Thomas Moran 1900 [Public domain]

Shoshone Falls, Idaho viewed from the northwest 2013 Famartin [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Gilcrease – Shenandoah River.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Gilcrease_-_Shenandoah_River.jpg&oldid=354856726 (accessed August 1, 2019). (Shoshone Falls, Snake River, Idaho – original file uploaded by Gilcrease, river mislabeled)


[1]  Wikipedia contributors, “Thomas Moran,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Thomas_Moran&oldid=887900185 (accessed August 1, 2019).

[2] Wikipedia contributors, “Shoshone Falls,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shoshone_Falls&oldid=904109934 (accessed August 1, 2019).

[3] Yost, Joe. “History of Milner Dam”; Twin Falls Canal Company. Retrieved 2016-06-27.

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