by Joan M. Rehlin
Anna Mary Robertson Moses (9/7/1860-12/13/1961), aka Grandma Moses, is one of America’s best-known folk artists. She noted in her autobiography that a favorite treat was the drawing paper her father brought her as a child, but she didn’t begin a career in the arts until late in life. Instead she worked on farms, in upstate New York and rural Virginia, and didn't create her first painting, Fireboard, until she was 58. As its name indicates, the hardboard painting was used to seal off the fireplace in the summertime.
Grandma Moses is attributed with saying, if she hadn't started painting, she’d have continued to raise chickens. Not surprisingly, when she began to paint full time at age 78, she created art that depicts farm activities and rural life. Her style was initially described as “American Primitive,” but she rejected the label as derogatory. More recently, her paintings have been considered part of the Modernism movement, a style that breaks with classical and traditional forms. Through her use of bright colors and nostalgic, simple realism, Grandma Moses has achieved a wide following of admirers.
The Old Checkered House in 1860, oil on masonite, 1944, by Grandma Moses
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Welcome to our Art Blog where we occasionally present topics of interest in the fine art world, including featuring artists other than Jim Rehlin. Some of the artwork has been created by long-departed but well-known greats; some, by compelling contemporary artists. All will be pieces we find worthwhile to share with you. If you like any of these, consider sharing the posts forward to your own blogs and other social media.