An Inspirational 19th-Century Garden

Mary Nimmo Moran's gardens here may have been inspired by American Impressionist paintings

The 1894 oil painting right, by Mary Nimmo Moran, is an imaginative rendering of a long garden she planted along the south border of the Moran House property on East Hampton’s Main Street, where she and her husband, the painter Thomas Moran, lived in the late 19th century. 

While the house is being restored as a museum by the Thomas Moran Trust, the Garden Club of East Hampton plans to recreate the border garden and has received an $18,000 matching grant to do so from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation.

In a press release, the club said it would be guided by the painting, which is in the collection of the East Hampton Historical Society, along with photographs in that collection and a contemporary painting of the border by Theodore Wores.

Mary Nimmo Moran is said to have been an accomplished gardener whose gardens here may have been inspired by American Impressionist paintings. Her husband taught her to make etchings and her landscape etchings became so highly praised that she was the first woman elected to the Society of Painter-Etchers of New York and the only woman among the original fellows of London’s Royal Society of Painter-Etchers.