Movement, Style, School or Type of Art:
Date and Place of Birth:
September 7, 1860, Greenwich, New York
Anna Mary Robertson was born a farm girl, went to work for hire on another farm when she was 12, married farmer Thomas Salmon Moses at age 27 and labored by his side on their farm until his death in 1927. She also raised a a family of five children (out of 10 pregnancies), cooked a gajillion meals, gardened, canned, cleaned, sewed, butchered and performed the thousands of other tasks one must do to farm. In retrospect, she was blessed to have lived long enough to get in a little painting time.
After Thomas' death, and after arthritic hands forced her to abandon embroidery, she took up oil painting in the 1930s. For a while, she sold paintings (and pickles) at the county fair, while also having a group of works on display in the local drugstore's window. Fate led collector Louis Caldor to pass through Hoosick Falls on a summer trip, and he promptly bought the lot. On his recommendation Moses' work was included in a 1939 MoMA exhibition and the rest, as they say, was cultural history.
- Sugaring Off, 1943
- Wash Day, 1945
- A Beautiful World, 1948
- The Thunderstorm, 1948
- The Old Checkered House in Winter, 1950
Date and Place of Death:
December 13, 1961, Hoosick Falls, New York
Quotes From Grandma Moses:
- "If I hadn't started painting, I would have raised chickens."
- "I look back on my life like a good day's work; it was done and I am satisfied with it."
Sources and Further Reading
- Bass, Ruth. "Moses, Grandma"
Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press, 23 July 2005.
Read a review of Grove Art Online.
- Kallir, Jane, et. al. Grandma Moses in the 21st Century
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.
- Kallir, Jane. Grandma Moses: The Artist behind the Myth
New York: Artline, 1982.
- Kallir, Otto. Grandma Moses.
New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1973.
- Kallir, Otto (ed.). Grandma Moses, American Primitive.
New York: Doubleday, 1947.
- Rodgers, David. "Moses, Grandma"
The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Ed. Hugh Brigstocke. Oxford University Press, 2001.
Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press, 25 July 2005.