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
– 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!