Monday, September 7, 2009

Grandma Moses Day

On September 7, 1860, Anna Mary Robertson Moses, modern primitive American painter, was born in Greenwich, NY. She started painting at the age of 78. Her 100th birthday was proclaimed Grandma Moses Day in New York state. She died in Hoosick Falls, NY on December 13, 1961.
-The Teacher's Calendar, 2008-2009

I don't know how many of you are familiar with "Grandma Moses," but I wasn't until reading these books!

Schaefer, A.R.
The Life and Work of Grandma Moses.
Heinemann Library.

Summary from

Briefly examines the life and work of the twentieth-century American painter, describing and giving examples of her art.

This book is perfect for young children... it is brief and to the point and gives children a very clear understanding of who Grandma Moses is and what made her a significant artist in U.S. history! The book would be great for encouraging children to "paint what they know," as Grandma Moses did, with no formal art lessons.

Nikola-Lisa, W.
The Year with Grandma Moses.
Henry Holt.

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

This stunning picture book introduces children of all ages to the work of legendary artist Grandma Moses. Beginning in the spring -- full of thunderstorms and scenes of laundry flapping in the wind -- Nikola-Lisa's lyrical text captures the seasons on a farm and highlights the simple yet wonderful moments depicted in Grandma Moses's folk art paintings. The experience is made all the more intimate by Grandma Moses's journal excerpts, which give readers a first-hand look at what inspired the artist.

This book is awesome! It's by far my favorite of the three. Not only do children learn about Grandma Moses art style, they learn a great deal about her life growing up, through simple snipets that describe the Grandma Moses artwork from each page, or by reading the personalized journals that are also provided! I like this book because it can be used with a wide variety of children... the youngest will appreciate the illustrations (paintings) and the simple text that describes them. Older children (especially girls) will appreciate the journal entries that describe the paintings, as they were seen through Grandma Moses eyes. Definitely worth sharing!

Wallner, Alexandra.
Grandma Moses.
Holiday House.

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

A brief biography of Anna Mary Robertson, the artist who was known as Grandma Moses, describing the inspiration behind and development of her paintings.

Yet another wonderful book about Grandma Moses, sharing with readers details about her life growing up and her years as an artist. The only downfall about this book was that Grandma Moses paintings weren't depicted throughout. I think that when children are trying to learn about an artist, it's important that they be able to connect a name and face with the types of art they make. However, I do think this book could be used as an introduction to a art unit on Grandma Moses - introducing students to her as a person (by means of her life story) before expanding on her work as an artist through use of the two previous books!

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to