apple-butter-making-1947(1)When most people are 76, they’re done. When Anna Mary Robertson Moses turned 76, she started a career as an oil painter of such power and originality that today we celebrate


Go Granny go. Born in 1860 in Greenwich, New York, Grandma Moses wasn’t always an old lady.

Anna Robertson was the daughter of farmers, a farmer’s wife and mother of 10 children, 5 of whom died in infancy. When her husband Thomas Moses died in 1927, she continued farming with her son until she “retired’ in 1936.

She had also been locally renowned for her beautiful embroideries depicting rural scenes. When arthritis made it too painful to work the needles, Anna turned to brush and canvas to express herself, selling her paintings in town for $3 to $5 apiece.

In 1938 she was discovered by Louis Caldor, an engineer and art collector from New York City passing through tiny Hoosick Falls, New York, where he bought 3 paintings he saw hanging in the local drug store window.

Before long Grandma Moses was a sensation, a household name who’s work was widely circulated in popular prints and Christmas cards. Her original oils sold for over 50 thousand dollars, a fortune during the Depression. Grandma lived to be 101 and created over 1,600 paintings, and is one of America’s most celebrated and popular folk artists. Anna Moses remains the pride of rural New York, where she lived most of her life and painted all her great works.

•Suggested activities: Getting off the recliner for starters.

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