Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Grandma Moses: A Vision of America

Anna Mary Moses wasn't trained as a painter; originally she excelled at needlepoint and embroidery. However, as arthritis encroached after her seventieth birthday she switched to painting. Fortunately her eyesight held out, and thereafter she proceeded to create some of the loveliest folk art ever.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketOver the final thirty years of her life, the woman known as Grandma Moses painted an American idyll consisting mainly of winter scenes set in upstate New York and Appalachia. One of her paintings - entitled The Fourth of July and made in honour of President Dwight D. Eisenhower - hangs in the White House today.

Her work was first discovered in 1938 by the wealthy art collector Louis J. Caldor, who brought her to the attention of art dealer Otto Kallir. And the rest, as they say, is pop culture*...

Born on this day in 1860, Grandma Moses died in December 1961, having lived long enough to see her hundredth birthday proclaimed 'Grandma Moses Day' by New York governor Nelson Rockefeller.

*Literally! The character of Granny Moses played by Irene Ryan in the sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies was not only named after her but modeled after her as well, at least in appearance.
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Y | O | Y said...

She's buried about 50' from my Dad and presumably where I'll be planted. She has a beautiful hilltop view.

michael sean morris said...

Well, that's apt. She painted many such views. Her grave site is definitely on my Upstate New York itinerary.