Little was known about Americas most famous natural wonder until 1869, when John Wesley Powell traveled the full length of the Grand Canyon by boat. He returned each year; in 1873 he introduced it to artist Thomas Moran, whose brazenly colored, grand scale portrayals of the canyon stunned the public. In 1908, Morans work prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to declare the Grand Canyon a national monument; by 1919, Congress had established Grand Canyon National Park.
As the Santa Fe Railway opened up the Southwest, in 1892 the company began hiring artists to paint scenes of the Grand Canyon, including Moran, W. R. Leigh, and Louis Akin. Today, artists are still capturing the splendor of the Grand Canyon: Ed Mell, Clark Hulings, Wilson Hurley, Frank Mason, P. A. Nisbet, Bruce Aiken, and Earl Carpenter are among the contemporary artists represented in The Majesty of the Grand Canyon.