Engraving on copper became Norma Morgan’s technique in 1950 when she began working at Atelier 17 in New York, where Stanley William Hayter’s influential studio had revived the demanding process in the 1920s. Morgan quickly became an expert, marking copper plates by pushing a burin, a sharp diamond-shaped tool, into the metal and thereby removing a bead of the copper, and was recognized for her abilities. A John Hay Whitney Opportunity Fellowship allowed Norma Morgan funding to work in England and spend time in the moors and dramatic mountain landscapes that informed her work throughout her career.
With Moor Country (Dartmoor), the massive, rocky outcrop is thrown into high relief by an intense light defining the rocks by deep shadows. Gentle clouds fill the sky while short, delicately engraved lines convey a plush, plant-filled foreground. Tiny sheep, a dog, and shepherd provide scale reference for this grand and light-filled scene. Moor Country is one of just a few large-scale engravings that she made.