September 7, 2017
Anna Mary Moses, Path to the Village, no date, needlework, 9 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Bryan A. Larson, 1985.
American artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses, known as Grandma Moses, was born on this day in 1860. Born in 1861, she had always shown an interest in art from a young age, though she did not begin painting as a career until the age of 78. She began in embroidery pieces, such as today’s piece, Path to the Village, but when she developed arthritis, she switched to painting. Her subject matter was usually a scene of rural life, a celebration of simple ways of life.
Her work was first brought to the larger art world’s attention in 1939, when her work was included in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Her first solo exhibition was held the following year. From then on, Grandma Moses’s work was celebrated and recognized throughout the country and reproduced on fabrics, ceramics, Hallmark cards, and holiday decorations.
Grandma Moses lived to be 101 years old.