Wednesday, July 13, 2011
M is for Moses--Grandma Moses!!
The Rogue Speaks:
I'll be you thought that Anna Mary (nee) Robertson was called Grandma Moses because she was old! Actually, Anna Mary, who was born in Greenwich, New York on Sept. 7, 1860, married Thomas Salmon Moses when she was 27 years old. She had grown up on a farm, and had been hired out as a farm worker when she was only 12. After she married, she worked side by side with her husband on their farm. The work was endless and hard, but she also managed to raise 5 children as well, and do a little embroidery on the side.
Her husband died in 1927, and due to arthritis, she could no longer embroider, so she took up oil painting in the 30's. She displayed her work in local stores, and at county fairs along with her pickles. An art collector, Louis Caldor happened to pass through town while on a summer trip and saw her work. He bought all she had.
Caldor convinced MoMA to include her work in an exhibition in 1939, And Grandma became a star!! Actually, she didn't go by the name "Grandma Moses" until after a one-woman exhibition in 1940, What a Farm Wife Painted, when the name by which she is now known was added. It was fine with her, because she really was a grandma!!
"The Old Checkered Farmhouse in Winter"
Grandma Moses had always been a very thrifty woman, and was taken aback with the amount of money people paid for her oil paintings! Unlike so many of the artists I have covered in Alphabe-Thursday, the drunks, drug addicts, adulterers, the tortured souls who ate lead paint, Anna Mary Robertson Moses was exactly who she appeared to be--a farmer's wife who painted pictures. She lived to be 101!!!
"A Beautiful World"
Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday is such great fun for all of us. If you haven't joined in this fun, please do! Oh, and go read the other offerings!!