Grandma Moses: Wikis

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Grandma Moses
Grandma Moses, 1953
Birth name Anna Mary Robertson
Born September 7, 1860(1860-09-07)
Greenwich, New York,
United States
Died December 13, 1961 (aged 101)
Hoosick Falls, New York,
United States
Nationality United States
Field Painting, Embroidery
Training no training
Works The Old Checkered Inn in Summer

Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961), better known as "Grandma Moses", was a renowned American folk artist. She is most often cited as an example of an individual successfully beginning a career in the arts at an advanced age.

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Painting

Moses began painting in her seventies after abandoning a career in embroidery because of arthritis. Louis J. Caldor, a collector, discovered her paintings in a Hoosick Falls, New York drugstore window in 1938. In 1939, an art dealer, Otto Kallir, exhibited some of her work in his Galerie Saint-Etienne in New York. This brought her to the attention of collectors all over the world, and her paintings became highly sought after. She went on to exhibit her work throughout Europe and in Japan, where her work was particularly well received. She continued her prolific output of paintings, the demand for which never diminished during her lifetime. Grandma Moses painted mostly scenes of rural life. Some of her many paintings were used on the covers of Hallmark cards.

Her early style is less individual and more realistic (also known as primitive art), despite her lack of knowledge of (or perhaps rejection of) basic perspective.[1][2] She did not develop her immediately recognizable signature folk style until later. Many of her early paintings in the realist style were given to family members as thank-you gifts after her visits. She was a prolific painter, generating over 3600 canvasses in 3 decades. Before her fame, she would charge $2 for a small painting and $3 for a large. Her winter paintings are reminiscent of some of the known winter paintings of Pieter Bruegel, the Elder, such as The Hunters in the Snow and Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap.

In 1946 her painting The Old Checkered Inn in Summer was featured in the background of a national advertising campaign for the young women's lip gloss Primitive Red by Du Barry cosmetics.

President Harry S. Truman presented her with the Women's National Press Club trophy Award for outstanding accomplishment in art in 1949, and in 1951 she appeared on See It Now, a television program hosted by Edward R. Murrow. In 1952 she published her autobiography and titled it Grandma Moses: My Life's History.

On her 100th birthday in 1960, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller proclaimed the day "Grandma Moses Day" in her honor.

In November 2006, her work Sugaring Off (1943), became her highest selling work at US $1.2 million. The work was a clear example of the simple rural scenes she became known for.[3]

Legacy

A 1942 piece, The Old Checkered House, 1862 was appraised at the Memphis 2004 Antiques Roadshow. The painting was a summer scene in Geneva, New York, not as common as her winter landscapes. Originally purchased in the 1940s for under $10, the piece was assigned an insurance value of $60,000 by the appraiser, Alan Fausel.

Another of her paintings, Fourth of July, was given by Otto Kallir to the White House and still hangs there today.

The character Granny on the popular 1960s rural comedy television series The Beverly Hillbillies was named Daisy Moses as an homage to Grandma Moses, who died shortly before the series began.

Norman Rockwell, who, for a time, lived in Arlington, Vermont, was a friend of Grandma Moses who lived in nearby Eagle Bridge, New York. Grandma Moses also appears on the far left edge in the Norman Rockwell painting Christmas Homecoming, which was printed on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post of December 25, 1948.

References

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.

Anna Mary Robertson Moses (7 September 186013 December 1961), better known as "Grandma Moses", was a renowned American folk artist.

Contents

Sourced

I'll get an inspiration and start painting; then I'll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live.
I look back on my life like a good day's work, it was done and I am satisfied with it. I was happy and contented, I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered.
  • I look out the window sometimes to seek the color of the shadows and the different greens in the trees, but when I get ready to paint I just close my eyes and imagine a scene.
    • As quoted in TIME magazine, Vol. 52 (1948)
  • Painting's not important. The important thing is keeping busy.
    • As quoted in New Leaves (1986) by Louise Matteoni
  • I paint from the top down. From the sky, then the mountains, then the hills, then the houses, then the cattle, and then the people.
    • As quoted in Tampa Bay Magazine‎ (January/February 2008), p. 205
  • A primitive artist is an amateur whose work sells.
    • As quoted in Grandma Moses, American Primitive : Forty Paintings (1947) by Otto Kallir
  • If I hadn't started painting, I would have raised chickens.
    • As quoted in Grandma Moses, American Primitive : Forty Paintings (1947) by Otto Kallir

Grandma Moses : My Life's History (1951)

  • I have written my life in small sketches, a little today, a little yesterday, as I have thought of it, as I remember all the things from childhood on through the years, good ones, and unpleasant ones, that is how they come out and that is how we have to take them.
    I look back on my life like a good day's work, it was done and I am satisfied with it. I was happy and contented, I knew nothing better and made the best out of what life offered. And life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.

Quotes about Moses

  • The death of Grandma Moses removed a beloved figure from American life. The directness and vividness of her paintings restored a primitive freshness to our perception of the American scene. Both her work and her life helped our nation renew its pioneer heritage and recall its roots in the countryside and on the frontier. All Americans mourn her loss.
  • There emanates from her paintings a light-hearted optimism; the world she shows us is beautiful and it is good. You feel at home in all these pictures, and you know their meaning. The unrest and the neurotic insecurity of the present day make us inclined to enjoy the simple and affirmative outlook of Grandma Moses.
    • Unnamed German critic, as quoted in her obituary in The New York Times (14 December 1961)
  • In person, Grandma Moses charmed wherever she went. A tiny, lively woman with mischievous gray eyes and a quick wit, she could be sharp-tongued with a sycophant and stern with an errant grandchild.
    • Unnamed author of her obituary in The New York Times (14 December 1961)

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