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Print D: The Haunted House, East Hampton / Mary Nimmo Moran


The subject of The Haunted House, East Hampton by Mary Nimmo Moran is a departure from her delightful depictions of rural life in the village, such as The Goose Pond, East Hampton (14.88b).1 The abandoned home portrayed here stood at the top of a small knoll called “Pudding Hill,” a nickname it was given during the American Revolution after a woman threw out a pot of pudding rather than hand it over to British troops stationed in the village.2 Art historian Shannon Vittoria notes that a year after Nimmo Moran executed this print, developers tore the building down to make room for new housing, so perhaps the artist wanted to preserve the memory of a historical site. A partially erased pencil notation on one impression reads: “of colonial days, East Hampton, L.I.”3

The Gilcrease collection contains eight impressions of this print, but through the use of a variety of inkings and wipings there are subtle differences. By wiping more ink from one part of the etching plate for one impression, and then moving to another section for the next impression, there are shifts in the lighting, illuminating tree trunks in one print and casting them in darkness in another. Similar changes in illumination appear for the house as well, highlighting the windows in one print and shrouding the home in total darkness in another. For this impression, a much heavier layer of ink is present, and a full moon was added to the sky. The variations suggest a range of emotional responses and viewers may find some impressions eerier than others.4 Nimmo Moran demonstrates her technical skill as a printmaker as well as her creativity in The Haunted House, East Hampton.5

—Sandra Pauly, Henry Luce Foundation Curatorial Scholar for Moran Collection Research, 2021

1 Nimmo Moran’s husband, Thomas Moran (1837–1926), portrayed an abandoned building in one of his early works, The Haunted House (14.454), and in a second version, The Haunted House (14.838). Although both are dated by inscription to 1860, Nancy Anderson notes that a work entitled The Haunted House was exhibited by Moran at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1858 and at the Washington, D.C. Art Association in 1859. Anderson et al., Thomas Moran, 184.
2 Vittoria, “Nature and Nostalgia in the Art of Mary Nimmo Moran,” 283.
3 Vittoria, “Nature and Nostalgia in the Art of Mary Nimmo Moran.” 283. The impression referred to is 14.122c.
4 These are all titled The Haunted House (14.122).
5 Morand and Friese, Prints of Nature, 21.

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Print D: The Haunted House, East Hampton
Mary Nimmo Moran (Artist)
printing ink on paper
Landscape; single-sided 0.174- 0.225 mm Cream, Japan paper. Slightly mottled surface with clumped fibers in transmitted light.
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
Previous Number(s): 
1426.122D; 37936
Not On View

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