Grandma Moses



youth realistic renowned
rural fetch (2) supposed to
critic publish take place
desire humanity passed away
role based on embroider
aside nonsense raise/rose/risen (2)
canvas arthritis by the time
needle proper hold/held/held
fulfill late (2) feel/felt/felt
clerk nearby sell/sold/sold
brush proper landscape
beside show (2) aside from
barn primitive autobiography
collect discover display (2)
scene innocence exhibition
apiece lifetime make/made/made
decide estimate begin/began/begun
county one of the commercial (2)
yarn praise leave/left/left




Anna Mary Robertson

Grandma Moses (1860-1961), was a renowned American artist. She painted simple yet realistic scenes of rural life, based on memories of her own youth in the late 1800’s. Art critics have praised her work for its freshness, innocence, and humanity.

Grandma Moses was born Anna Mary Robertson in Washington County, New York, U.S.A.

The Desire

As a young girl on a farm, she had a desire to paint.

But her family and friends told her that was “nonsense”. They said that as a farm girl, her role in life was to marry a farm boy and to have and raise farm kids.

Farm and Family Life

So Anna put her heart’s desire aside and did what she was supposed to do. She married Thomas Moses in 1887, and numerous children. In her forties she became a grandmother, and a great-grandmother in her sixties.

In her later years, Grandma Moses made embroidered pictures with yarn. However by the time she turned seventy-six, arthritis made it difficult for her to hold embroidery needles. By then her husband had passed away and her children were all grown.



A New Hobby

Feeling that she didn’t have much time left, Grandma Moses decided to do some painting, her childhood desire that had never really left her.

So she went to a nearby town and visited an art store. The clerk sold her some paint and canvases and brushes, and showed her how to use them.


Aside from that, without having any formal art lessons, Grandma Moses sat down beside the barn and began painting what came to be called “Primitive American Landscape”. Over the years, she produced many works. Not only was she a completely natural, but a totally original talent.

An art collector first discovered her paintings in the late 1930’s, and Grandma Moses sold her first painting when she was seventy-eight (78). Her works went on display at a show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1939. Her first one-artist exhibition took place in 1940.

Success and Recognition

In the last ten years of her life, some of her works were fetching more than a hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) apiece.

Indeed, once she had become an established artist, she sold and made more money in a single year from her paintings than she and her husband had earned in an entire lifetime of hard work on the farm.

It’s been estimated that if she had begun painting in her late teens as she had really wanted, and her paintings had been as successful commercially as they still are today, she might have become one of the richest women in America.

Grandma Moses continued painting until nearly her passing. Her autobiography, My Life’s History, was published in 1952.



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Botticelli, Sandro. Grandma Moses was a famous painter, similar to that of Monet, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. True or false?

Dali, Salvador. Was Grandma Moses her real name? Was she born in New York City?

Durer, Albrecht. Her dream was to be a farmer. She had always wanted to be a farmer. Is this right or wrong?

Gauguin, Paul. In the old days, did couples have one or two children?

Goya, Francisco. During her younger years, did Anna paint pictures? How old was she when she took up painting?

Kandinsky, Wassily. Grandma Moses took painting lessons from an artist. Is this correct or incorrect?

Kahlo, Frida. Did she become a poor, struggling artist?

Leonardo da Vinci. Is there a moral or lesson in the life of Grandma Moses?
Matisse, Henri Michelangelo. I like to paint. Painting is my hobby. Yes or no? Do your friends paint? Do you know anyone who paints?

Michelangelo. Did you paint and do other artwork at school or at home as a youngster?

Monet, Claude. What is your heart’s desire? If you could do anything, what would you like to do?

Picasso, Pablo. Do you know anyone with a really interesting occupation or hobby?

Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio). What will happen in the future?

Rembrandt. Painting and other artwork is good, if not important, for people, especially older people. What do you think?

Van Gogh, Vincent. What could or should people, parents, teachers, society do?

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