biography of Grandma MOSES (1860-1961)

Birth place: Greenwich, NY

Death place: Hoosick Falls, NY

Addresses: NYC; Eagle Bridge, NY

Profession: Painter

Studied: self-taught, beginning 1930s.

Exhibited: Galerie St. Etiènne, NYC, 1939, 1940 (solos); MoMA, 1939; MMA 1944; CI, 1945-46; Syracuse Mus. FA, 1941 (prize), 1952; Everhart Mus., 1943; Smith Gal., Springfield, MA, 1944; Lawrence Art Mus., Williamstown, MA, 1944; Currier Gal. Art, 1945; St. Paul Gal. & Art School, 1946; BMA, 1948; PMG, 1949; Corcoran Gal. biennial, 1949; Nelson Gal. Art, 1951; Joslyn Art Mus., 1951; Des Moines AC, 1951; Denver Art Mus., 1951; Mus. FA, Houston, 1952; Delgado Mus. Art, 1952; de Young Mem. Mus., 1952; Birmingham Art Mus., 1952; Florida Gulf Coast AC, 1952, 1956; Lyman Allyn Mus., 1953; Brooks Mem. Mus, 1948, 1951, 1953; Buffalo Hist. Soc., 1954; SAM, 1955; Oakland Art Mus., 1955; San Diego FA Soc., 1955; PAFA Ann., 1956. Solos in Europe: Vienna & Salzburg, Austria, 1950; Berne, Switzerland, 1950; The Hague, Holland, 1950; Am. Embassy, Paris, 1950; Munich, 1950, Bremen, 1955, Stuttgart, 1955, Cologne, 1956 & Hamburg, 1956, all in Germany; London, England, 1956; Oslo, Norway, 1956; Stockholm, Sweden, 1956; Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Scotland, 1957 (sponsored by British Arts Co.).

Work: MMA; PMG; Currier Gal. Art; LACMA; PMO; large collection, Bennington, (VT) Mus.; White House, Wash., DC; Russell Sage College, Troy, NY; Rochester Mem. Art Gal.; Austrian State Gal., Vienna; Mus. Art, Providence, RI; Syracuse Mus. FA; Pasadena AI; William Rockhill Nelson Gal. Art; Nat. Art Gal., Sydney, Australia; Queensland Nat. Art Gal., Brisbane, Australia; MusÈe Nat. d'Art Moderne, Paris, France; Shelburne (VT) Mus.

Comments: The only American female folk painter whose paintings have achieved iconic status. She married Thomas Salmon Moses in 1887 and had 10 children. She made her first painting c.1920 in Eagle Bridge, NY and after her husband's death in 1927 began painting in earnest, exhibiting her canvases of country scenes, filled with active people, at local fairs. A 1939 exhibit of her work in a local drugstore window was seen by Louis J. Caldor who brought her work to the attention of Dr. Otto Kallir, director of Galerie St. Etiènne, NYC, and her career was launched. She made about 1,600 paintings and painted until a few months before her death. She also made about 50 pictures in yarn (1931-52) and 85 tiles (1951-52).

Sources: WW59; WW47; Baigell, Dictionary; Otto Kallir, Grandma Moses (1973); Muller, Paintings and Drawings at the Shelburne Museum, 95 (w/repro.); Dewhurst, MacDowell, and MacDowell, 166; 300 Years of American Art, 554; Falk, Exh. Record Series.