Saturday in the Museum with Anna Mary

Image: Grandma Moses, Bringing in the Maple Sugar (c.1939).

This weekend’s art post about food is from Anna Mary Robertson, better known as Grandma Moses, one of the great folk artist of the United States. We also continue this year’s focus on art that looks at the ways food gets to us.

Robertson was spent her life on a farm, leaving home to work as a hired girl, then marrying a farmer. She gave birth to 10 children, only half of whom survived infancy. At the age of 78, when age made embroidery too difficult for her hands, she took up painting. According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, “Moses worked with whatever materials were at hand, used house paint and leftover canvas or fireboard for her first paintings. As a self-taught artist, Moses had little concern for perspective or proportion.”

The New York collector Louis Caldor came across her work, and helped her get a show at the gallery of Otto Kallir. One of the paintings that stood out to Kallir was this one, Bringing in the Maple Sugar.

“Kallir was the first to admit that he had been befuddled by the uneven quality of Moses’s early work, which included worsted embroideries as well as paintings, and copies of popular prints. However, one work in particular, Bringing in the Maple Sugar , stood out from among the others in the 1940 exhibition. ‘What struck me,’ Kallir recalled, ‘was the way in which the artist had handled the landscape…Though she had never heard of any rules of perspective, Mrs. Moses had achieved an impression of depth, passing from the tall bare trees in the foreground, the huts and large, clearly outlined groups, to hazy tones in the distance…creating an atmosphere of compelling truth and closeness to nature.'”

Hallmark purchased the rights to reproduce her paintings making her nationally recognized. Moses lived to be 101 with some fifteen hundred images to her name. This piece appears to be in a private collection.


If you are in D.C. and thinking about eating out after a hard day’s worth of work, then our site can help tap into the local food scene. We are a dining guide for the District. We have 300 recommended restaurants in our dining guide that you can sort by cuisine, neighborhood, and current operating status (dine-in and/or take-out, etc.) in either LIST or MAP format.  Though operating status is changing day-to-day, so be sure to double-check.

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