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UA Amazing Artist: “Grandma” Moses

Leslie Brown

I thought “Grandma” Moses would be a great inspiration to others, as she didn’t begin painting until she was in her 70’s!

Sheesh! I didn’t get my Bachelor’s until I was 40, so maybe I have a special appreciation for folks who get a late start on a career.

Anna Mary Robertson Moses began painting when arthritis limited he ability to embroider, as she liked to do. Painting what she knew and loved she began painting pastoral scenes of rural Americana, having grown up on a farm.(1)

Although her early works relied on illustrated books and prints, Moses gradually developed her own sense of color and design. Her landscapes were inspired by farm activities. Though she concentrated on capturing the atmosphere of the farm through the seasons, she also used dabs of paint to depict figures at work.

Her range of subject matter was narrow—the farm life she loved—but she was a master at presenting these scenes. After first showing her paintings at county fairs, in 1938 Moses exhibited several works in a local store, where they were seen by a New York City collector, Louis J. Caldor.

By 1940 she had had her first one-person show at the Galerie St. Étienne, New York, and Gimbel’s department store displayed her works at Thanksgiving time. Her popularity spread even further when her first Christmas cards were issued in 1946. She was befriended by presidents, awarded two honorary doctorates, and became the recipient of many accolades during her lifetime. Moses died in 1961 at the age of 101 in Hoosick Falls, New York.(2)

I can’t help but notice that Grandma Moses looks delightfully like “Granny” from the Beverly Hillbillies!

gramma moses

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Some amazing grandmothers! “You gotta keep moving!”

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