Grandma Moses Day

Anna Mary Robertson MosesImage by kamikazecactus via Flickr
Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses, was born September 7, 1860, at Greenwich, N.Y.  After years of raising her family and living her life, she found herself at age 76, unable to embroider the way she had done before, due to her arthritis. She couldn’t bear to remain idle, so as a creative outlet, she began painting at her kitchen table on pieces of Masonite or strong cardboard. She painted simple images of her life in what has come to be known as the primitive style.

Her early works were given away or sold for small amounts of money. Two years after she started, a collector saw her paintings displayed in a drugstore window, priced from $3 to $5. He bought them all and then visited her farmhouse and bought the rest she had painted. In Grandma Moses lifetime, she saw her paintings go from their meager beginning to hanging in some of the most prestigious galleries,  exhibited around the world, and selling for $8000 to $10, 000 per painting. In 2006, one of her paintings, “Early Morning Sugaring Off,” sold for $548,000 at auction.

1969 stamp honoring Grandma MosesImage via Wikipedia
A 1969 stamp honors Grandma Moses.

When she was 100, Governor of NY,  Nelson Rockefeller,  proclaimed September 7th,  Grandma Moses day. It is still celebrated by those who love her paintings and those inspired by her example. When she died at 101, December 13, 1961, she had painted over 1000 paintings, but that was a small thing in comparison to the impact she had made on her world and the inspiration she provided to people everywhere. Her life reminds us that it’s never too late to make your mark.

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