"Yellowstone Park" Northern Pacific Railroad Poster, after Thomas Moran, 1924

Presented is a Northern Pacific Railroad poster, advertising their Yellowstone Park Line. The central scene is a colorful reproduction print after Thomas Moran’s The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1893-1901. The bottom right corner of the work shows the identifying information including the publishers, Brown and Bigelow in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Thomas Moran was an American painter and print maker in the late 19th and early 20th century. Heavily influenced by J. M. W. Turner, Moran was known for his depictions of the American West in colorful, wispy brush strokes. The popular painter accompanied a government surveying expedition to Yellowstone in 1871, allowing him to create some of the most celebrated American landscape scenes.

The Northern Pacific Railway was one of the nation’s early transcontinental railroads, stretching from St. Paul, Minnesota all the way to Seattle, Washington. The railway received a charter from Congress in 1864, but encountered numerous problems. The company experienced everything from lack of funding to attacks from Native American Peoples before it was finally finished in 1883. After completion, the railway quickly became a major player in the transportation realm, competing with the Great Northern Railway Company. By the early 20th century, the railway launched a massive advertising campaign to promote personal travel to the West. The company pushed postcards, calendars, posters, and many other ads featuring various distinguished regional sceneries. This poster is no exception. The awe-inspiring scene with seemingly unrealistic lighting would have attracted the attention of those in cities, plains, and other settings that could not compare to the waterfalls and gorges presented in the poster. The advertising push was very successful for the railway until the Great Depression and WWII halted business and hurt the travel industry immensely. Despite the eventual struggles the company faced, this poster can still be admired for showcasing the fantastically interesting and beautiful geography of the western United States and inspiring people to travel throughout their own country.

CONDITION:

Overall very good condition. Some horizontal creasing along the middle and the plaque is slightly tarnished, but otherwise no notable damage to the work. The poster is beautifully housed in a rusticated frame according to modern archival standards.

Framed Dimensions: 45.5" H x 54.75" W x 3" D




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