Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma) Moses (1860-1961)
Thanksgiving Turkey, 1943
oil on wood
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Grandma Moses was in her seventies when she started painting, but she was not “late in life.” Over the following three decades, she would create over 3,600 canvases, as well as live to see her eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. In 1938, she was selling her paintings in a drugstore in Hoosick Falls, NY, when a New York art collector scooped them up. One short year later, she was included in the Contemporary Unknown American Painters exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Her charming pictures of rural communities and rolling countryside soon fetched large audiences, breaking attendance records all over the world. Her depictions of Thanksgiving and Christmas became particularly popular, and those who couldn’t make it to MOMA in New York or the Daimaru Museum in Japan could see them on greeting cards, fabrics, tiles, and advertisements.