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Making The Film

Grandma Moses

Film by
Produced by Jerome Hill
Cinematographer: Erica Anderson
Sound: Reeves Sound Studios
Editing: Archibald Macleish, writer and narrator
Copyright:
23 minutes, Color
Original format: Betacam Digital (Digi Beta), 1950
Distributor: The Jerome Foundation
More Film Facts
Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to or to the distributor, The Jerome Foundation.


Preview one minute trailer - Comment on film


Anna Mary Robertson Moses better known as "Grandma Moses" did all of her painting from remembrance of things past. She liked to sit quietly and think, she once said, and remember and imagine. "Then I'll get an inspiration and start painting; then I'll forget everything, everything except how things used to be and how to paint it so people will know how we used to live."

She would sit on an old, battered swivel chair, perching on two large pillows. The Masonite on which she painted would lie flat on an old kitchen table before her. There was no easel. Crowding her in her "studio" were an electric washer and dryer that had overflowed from the kitchen.

For subject matter, Grandma Moses drew on memories of a long life as farm child, hired girl and farmer's wife. Her first paintings had been sent to the county fair along with samples of her raspberry jam and strawberry preserves. Her jam had won a ribbon, but nobody noticed those first paintings.

During her lifetime she painted more than 1,000 pictures, twenty-five of them after she had passed her 100th birthday. Her oils have increased in value from those early $3 and $5 works to $8,000 or $10,000 for a large picture.


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