Edward Percy Moran [1862-1935]
Evening in the parlor, ca.1880s.
Oil on canvas
26 x 14 inches
Signed at lower right.
The son of the marine painter Edward Moran and nephew of Thomas Moran, Percy studied with his father and also attended classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at the National Academy of Design. After additional studies abroad, Percy maintained studios in New York City and Long Island. The Moran brothers were pioneers on the East End, among the first artists to maintain studios on eastern Long Island. Thomas built the first artist’s studio in East Hampton, and Edward and his sons Peter and Percy maintained studios in Greenport, on the North Fork. Although Percy specialized in nostalgic subjects inspired by American history – a theme that came into vogue as a consequence of the Centennial celebrations in 1876 – he also depicted some Long Island scenes. His painting Dreaming of Home Sweet Home, which includes a dreamlike image of the celebrated home of John Howard Payne in East Hampton and is nearly contemporaneous with this charming beach scene, is owned by the East Hampton Free Library. It was the early presence on the East End of the Morans and other artists lured by the region’s scenic beauty that attracted the first summer visitors to the Hamptons, resulting in a flourishing summer colony. In the present work, a bevy of fashionably attired ladies enjoy the sun on the beach at East Hampton, their faces sheltered from the rays by elaborate bonnets and parasols. Nearby, their children frolic in the sand, relishing the pleasures of a day at the shore. In the distance at right may be seen the original pavilions, providing lockers amenities to eager beach-goers.