Art Legend’s Wife Steals Spotlight

Art Legend's Wife Steals SpotlightIn early 2018, the museum was offered a donation of a Mary Nimmo Moran untitled landscape painting by a donor in Massachusetts. While Gilcrease has a substantial collection of Thomas Moran works — 2,046 to be exact — we have very few by his wife, Mary Nimmo Moran, and none of her oil paintings. In fact, her oil paintings are quite rare; and in 2011, an oil on panel of Nimmo Moran’s was her first painting to appear at auction.

Despite the painting’s poor condition, Gilcrease accepted the piece due to its rarity. “Like many 19th-century women artists, Mary Nimmo Moran’s work is often under recognized by scholars and museums today,” said Laura Fry, Gilcrease Museum senior curator and curator of art. “While she never achieved the fame of her husband, Thomas Moran, Mary was a talented artist in her own right. We were thrilled by the donation of one of Mary’s rare oil paintings, which will allow Gilcrease to shed additional light on her career.”

The piece is currently awaiting conservation treatment and reframing that we plan to complete by the end of 2019.

“This small painting has suffered from environmental fluctuations resulting in heavy planar distortion, a pronounced network of cracks and some related loses,” said Joanna Didik, Gilcrease’s chief conservator. “It will be scheduled for treatment to enable safe usage and full appreciation of this unique piece.”

The Nimmo Moran painting is a valuable addition to Gilcrease’s permanent collection, and we are grateful to the donor, Kathy Bangerter, who gifted the piece in honor of Eleanor and Edgar Wallace.