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Grandma Moses

Also Known as: Anna Mary Robertson Moses, Anna Mary Robertson, Anna Mary Moses

Greenwich, New York 1860

Hoosick Falls, New York 1961

Active in:

  • Eagle Bridge, New York
  • Virginia

Luce Artist Quote

“If I didn’t start painting, I would have raised chickens.” The artist, quoted in Lewis, “Americana Beauty: Newfangled Feminist Perspectives Aside, Grandma Moses Deserves a Second Look,” Washington Post, 2001

Luce Artist Biography

Anna Mary Robertson Moses grew up on a farm in upstate New York, where she worked as a hired girl, helping neighbors and relatives with cleaning, cooking, and sewing. Her father encouraged her to draw on old newsprint, and she used berry and grape juices to brighten her images. She married when she was twenty-seven and moved to a farm in Virginia, where she raised five children. Grandma Moses did not start painting until she was seventy-seven years old and looking for something to do “to keep busy and out of mischief” after her husband died. She painted nostalgic scenes of American life and sold them at country fairs alongside her prize-winning pickles. In 1939 a collector saw her paintings in the window of the local pharmacy and bought them all. Soon after, Hallmark purchased the rights to reproduce her paintings on greeting cards and the name Grandma Moses became known across the country. She died at 101, after painting more than fifteen hundred images.