Grandma Moses


For the A to Z challenge I am studying people who found success later in life.  G is for Grandma Moses.


Anna Mary Robertson in the 1860’s

Interesting Facts:

–  She lived to be 101!!  I’ll take what she is having…errr….had.  Her doctor said the best way to describe her death was “she just wore out.”

–  She took up painting at 76 years young because arthritis had crippled her hands making embroidering too difficult.

–  She was once the guest of President and Mrs. Harry S. Truman at a tea in which the President played the piano for her.


Fireboard decorated by Moses in 1918

Route to Success:

–  When she was 78 in 1938, a New York engineer and art collector, Louis J. Caldor, was driving through Hoosick Falls, NY and saw her paintings in a drug store.  They were priced $3-$5.  He bought them all.  Drove straight to her home in Eagle Bridge and bought ten others.

– The following year, Grandma Moses was represented in an exhibition of “contemporary unknown painters” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

–  In 1940, a one-man show of her paintings was held in New York and more followed abroad.

–  She continued to paint over 1,000 pictures.  25 of them after she passed her 100th birthday.  From $3-$5 to $8,000 -$10,000 a painting is quite the increase.


1969 U.S. postage stamp honoring Grandma Moses

My Take Away:

It is never too late.  Cliche but true.  Seriously!  If a woman can start painting at 76 and within three years be a famous painter, anything is possible.

On a side note, Grandma Moses style of painting reminds me of some of my favorite pieces from my favorite artist, P. Buckley Moss.  I love Moss and I have even made a visit to her main gallery space.  Two of her works adorn my wall.  Art is wonderful!

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