Bridgeman Images now represents the Estate of Anna Mary Robertson Moses known universally as Grandma Moses, for copyright clearance and licensing
American folk artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses, known around the world as Grandma Moses, was born in Greenwich, NY in 1860. She began her creative endeavours at a young age with needlework depictions of farm life.
At age 76, the wife and mother of 10 had to put down the sewing needles as arthritis hindered her ability to create needleworks. This prompted her to shift her creativity to paint. Her painting career spanned over 20 years, taking her from amateur hobbyist to professional folk artist.
The paintings of Grandma Moses depict romantic views of the days she spent working on farms in New York and Virginia, free of the complications of the greater world.
Grandma Moses’ rise to fame began in 1938. Louis Caldor, a New York City art collector, saw her paintings sitting in a drugstore window in Hoosick Falls, NY. He bought all the paintings in the window as well as all the paintings she had at home and brought them back to New York City to spark interest in her work.
Three of those paintings were included in MoMA’s Contemporary Unknown American Painters exhibition the following year, followed by her first solo exhibition at Galerie St. Etienne in New York City titled “What a Farmwife Painted”.
Galerie St Etienne and specifically its founder, Otto Kallir was the primary figure to increase Grandma Moses’ notoriety and his granddaughter, Jane Kallir, announced in 2018 an incredibly generous gift: the Kallir family will donate 10 Grandma Moses paintings to the Smithsonian American Art Museum over the next 7 years.
All ten paintings will figure in a travelling Grandma Moses exhibition slated for fall 2023, of which Jane Kallir is a consultant.
Galerie St. Etienne represented Grandma Moses until her death in 1961 and now represents her estate.
Bridgeman Images is honoured and delighted to have been chosen to represent the Estate of Grandma Moses and the Kallir Research Institute.
By the late 1940s- early 1950s Grandma Moses was a sensation. President Harry Truman presented her with the Women’s National Press Club Award for “Outstanding Accomplishment in Art”, Jerome Hill’s documentary on her was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Short Film, and an exhibition of her work toured six European cities with the help of the United States government. The travelling exhibition was used to soften the European perception of America during the Cold War.
Her popularity was sustained into the 1960s. In honour of her 100th birthday in 1960, she appeared on the cover of Life Magazine and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller declared September 7 "Grandma Moses Day".
When Grandma Moses died in 1961, President John F. Kennedy said of her work “The death of Grandma Moses removed a beloved figure from American life. The directness and vividness of her paintings restored a primitive freshness to our perception of the American scene”. During her two-decade painting career, she painted over 1,600 works.
Discover our collection of Grandma Moses images.
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