Grandma Moses

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Moses, Grandma

Moses, Grandma (Anna Mary Robertson Moses), 1860–1961, American painter, b. Washington co., N.Y., self-taught. She lived the arduous life of a farm wife, first in the Shenandoah Valley and later at Eagle Bridge, near Hoosick Falls, N.Y. In her late 70s, too frail to do hard work, she began to paint. Her pictures—called American primitives—are simple, gay scenes of farm life that struck the popular fancy and became widely known through prints and Christmas cards. She painted such subjects as The Old Oaken Bucket, Sugaring-Off, and Out for the Christmas Trees. Thanksgiving Turkey is in the Metropolitan Museum. At the age of 100 she illustrated “ 'Twas the Night before Christmas” by Clement Moore (1962).


See her autobiography (1952) and study by O. Kallir (1973).

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Moses, (Anna Mary Robertson) Grandma

(1860–1961) painter; born in Washington County, N.Y. She and her husband were farmers in Virginia and in Eagle Bridge, New York, where they settled (1907). The mother of ten children, she became a painter at the age of 78. Her distinctive folk paintings, such as Hoosick Falls in Winter (1943), and Thanksgiving Turkey (1943), have made her a popular artist throughout the world.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.