Monday, December 20, 2010

Grandma Moses: An artist for all ages!

All of the seventh grade art classes are working on a group assignment that will result in large-scale landscape paintings inspired by the folk art of famous American painter Mary Anna Robertson Moses.  Born in 1860 in upstate New York,  Mary Anna was the third of ten children .  She lived a good life, surrounded by family and animals on her parent's farm.  Although she worked very hard, she enjoyed using her hands to do everything from making jam, churning butter and making pictures from embroidery yarn.  She married and moved to Virginia where she and her husband had five children and ran their own farm. 
Eventually, her children grew up and Mary's husband passed away.  She realized that she now had enough time in her life to work on her love of making art; she would paint!   Mary was now old, but she was not ready to slow down!  She got her ideas for her paintings from fond childhood memories of the changing seasons and all of the activities that went on at the farm. 
One day a man was traveling through her town and noticed some of Mary's paintings that were on display in the window of the local pharmacy.  He loved the simple subject matter and the use of shape and color in her paintings so he bought them all!  He took Mary's paintings to New York City where he showed them to some friends he had who were important people in the "Art World."  Soon, Anna Mary was known as "Grandma Moses" and she was a popular artist whose work was featured in many art shows.  To meet the demands of collectors, she worked very hard to make as many paintings as possible, even making twenty-six paintings after the age of one hundred! 
Grandma Moses lived to be one hundred and one and her work is still sought after by collectors of folk art paintings.  People appreciate the good times that her work shows and they recognize the special talents of this simple farm wife from upstate New York.

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