The popularity of this artist, whose autobiography, Grandma Moses: My Life’s History, was published in 1952, induced the Governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller, to declare on September 7, 1960, on the occasion of her 100 years, such as “Grandma Moses Day”, which is commemorated every year.
Grandma Moses, American naïve painter
Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as “Grandma Moses”, was born in the United States on September 7, 1860, and died on December 13, 1961, at the age of 101. Grandma Moses was a very popular artist who started painting when she was 70 years old. She was a very prolific artist. She was painting until her last days of life; even, it is said that between 1960 and 1961 he made 25 works.
Anna Mary Robertson was the daughter of a farmer. At the age of 12, she began working on a farm; Later, at the age of 27, she married Thomas Moses, also a farmer, and together they worked on farms rented by them until they were finally able to acquire their own. When her husband died in 1927, one of her sons took care of the farm, and she, at the age of 67, tired of the arduous tasks of country life, dedicated herself to embroidery so as not to bother herself with so much free time, but as the years passed, she began to suffer from arthritis, a disease that prevented her from doing her work as an embroiderer, that is when she began to paint, an activity that, manually, was less complicated for her.
The artistic genre that Grandmother Moses cultivated was naïve art, an artistic style characterized by the ingenuity, spontaneity, originality, and self-taught nature of the artists, who don’t have an academic background, but do have a lot of imagination and creativity. We infer that Moses’ art must have been influenced by her experience as an embroiderer. In her compositions she represents scenes from her past life, her memories, the way of life she lived in the countryside, that of a farmer, the landscape, and the customs of the people around her, all imbued with joy, color, and candidness.
News about Anna Mary Robertson began to be heard in the world of art in 1938, when an art collector discovered her work in a shop, then went to visit her on her farm and bought several paintings from her. From this event, her artistic career begins to be known. The following year some of her paintings were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and in 1940 she had an individual one at the Galerie Saint-Etienne in New York, which caught the attention of many collectors, making her works increasingly desirable by art lovers. Grandma Moses turned out to be a great find. Later, the artist became famous and transcended the borders of her country, making herself known in Europe and Asia, where her work was well received. The work of the artist Moses is part of several private collections and is represented in the collection of several North American and European museums, and has also been reproduced on postage stamps, cards, and postcards such as those of Hallmark Cards.
Grandma Moses was very generous. It is said that the money she received from the sale of her paintings she distributed among those around her; On one occasion, she even received a check that she kept at home until, after 2 months, her collector visited her and pressured her to cash it, which emphasizes that the artist, despite the fame she obtained and the interest of collectors for her work, what interested her most was painting without any other interest.
The history of this artist makes it clear that there are no age or gender limits to undertake in life any goal that the human being proposes, be it artistic or of any other nature. Grandma Moses is a worthy example of the expression that says: “it’s never too late.”