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Highlights: Grandma Moses -- Grandmother to the Nation

Highlights: Grandma Moses -- Grandmother to the Nation
Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma) Moses (1860-1961), Sugaring Off, 1945. Mixed media on board. N-415.67. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY. Copyright Grandma Moses Properties Co., NY.

Cooperstown Art Museum,
Lake Road, Route 80, Cooperstown, NY
May 26-December 31, 2006
For more information call 888.547.1450
or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org

Anna Mary Robertson was born in Greenwich, New York, in 1860. After her marriage to Thomas Salmon Moses, she moved to Virginia, where she gave birth to ten children, five of whom died young. In 1930, at age 70, and now living in Eagle Bridge, New York, the widowed Anna began painting and making embroidered pictures. By 1940 she was exhibiting her work in New York City galleries and coming to terms with her roles as the media celebrity "Grandma Moses" and folk artist loved by President Harry Truman and a host of celebrities. Her success was at once startling and predictable. Her simple renderings of simple bygone activities -- tapping maple trees for sugar, making apple butter, preparing for Thanksgiving celebrations -- were a source of comfort to an America adjusting to a new world of technology, suburbia, and the Cold War. Her artwork appeared on Christmas cards, dishware, and household goods of every kind, and though the New York art world despised the fuss made about her, she remains one of the most famous artists in America. In 1961 she died in Hoosick Falls, New York, at the age of 101.

Highlights: Grandma Moses -- Grandmother to the Nation
ABOVE: Anna Mary Robertson (Grandma) Moses (1860-1961), The Old Oaken Bucket, 1943. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY. Copyright Grandma Moses Properties Co., NY.

In this exhibition, personal objects on loan from the Bennington Museum such as brushes, paint, an apron, and rocking chair, are used along with her artwork and quotes from Grandma herself to offer a broader perspective than is often given in considerations of her work. The exhibit also examines her art in the context of America's transition from the Great Depression, World War II, through the rising prosperity of the 1950s, when Grandma's images of remembered scenes from her rural past made her an international celebrity. Guest Curator Karal Ann Marling, a professor of art history and American studies at the University of Minnesota, is the author of the book Designs on the Heart: The Homemade Art of Grandma Moses, due out in May 2006 from Harvard University Press. The exhibition will travel to four additional venues: Reynolda House, Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, January 27-April 22, 2007; Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee, May 19-August 12, 2007; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California, September 8, 2007-January 6, 2008; and the John and Mable Ringling Museum, Sarasota, FL.

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