The Inspirational Magic of Grandma Moses

The Inspirational Magic of Grandma Moses

When's the right time to dive?

Meet Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as Grandma Moses. Born in 1860, she worked as an American farmer.

She married her husband Thomas, bought their own farm, had 10 children, and lived a normal, rural life.

Things were due to change, though.

By 1932, one of Anna's daughters became ill and she moved to care for her. As a means of support, she'd stitch pictures for her daughter.

Before long, her arthritis made this an unmanageable task. So her sister suggested she try painting instead.

Do the maths, at this juncture in life, Anna's 72.

With no training or experience, Anna began to paint what she loved. Childhood vistas and scenes of village life, all distinctively without the industrial trappings of the (then) modern day. Tractors, poles, and technology of any kind was removed. It felt more idyllic that way.

Surging on a mixture of bliss and intent, it didn't take long before there were too many paintings to fit in Anna's house. So she sent them to country fairs and the like as a means to make more space for forthcoming work.

It took five years of practice, and productivity born from the sheer love of the craft, before anything changed.

One day, Anna was invited to display paintings at a pharmacy, where a buyer saw them and was floored with appreciation. The buyer purchased every single painting of hers and sought to introduce this unknown talent to the world at large.

After three years of door-knocking, a few of her paintings were displayed in a private exhibition at the MoMA in 1939... at the same time as Picasso's Guernica.

A year later, she had her first solo exhibition: What a Farmwife Painted. It was a huge success and one local journalist coined her "Grandma Moses." It stuck.

For another five years, Anna represented herself. This held her back from wider success but that was never the purpose of her passion. Until 1944, where she agreed to be represented by an agent. In turn, this decision elevated her celebrity to international status.

It was only at this point, now aged 84, that Grandma Moses became an artist of global renown.

First came a series of travelling exhibitions that ran through 30 US states and across ten EU nations. Her paintings, at this point, are exalted; replicated on cards, plates, fabrics, you name it.

In 1949 Grandma Moses received an award from President Truman.

In 1950, a documentary on her life was nominated for an Academy Award.

In 1953, she graced the cover of Time Magazine.

In 1960, she covered Life Magazine.

And her birthday was even declared "Grandma Moses Day," by the governor of New York.

The remarkable zig-ZAAGing of this woman came to an end in 1961, aged 101. Her passing headlined news across the US and Europe, having spent the final decades of her life captivating the attention of multiple contents with her unique values and style.

How old are you? If the answer's younger than 72, then take this post as proof that there's still more than enough time…

Time to receive your flowers.

Time to take a break from the rat race.

Time to start something new.

Time to try.

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