Painting With The Girls 261
September 17, 2016
Day 261 (105 days to go)
In 1945 Grandma Moses and the author Otto Kallil collaborated in writing her biography. He visited her regularly and later wrote that Grandma Moses was an excellent storyteller and knew local anecdotes that she shared with him. Her knowledge about rural life in the nineteenth century was rich, and she added these colorful stories to her autobiographical sketches. In that same year, she agreed to comment on 40 of her paintings that Otto Kallil chose so he could add them to his book. The book was titled “Grandma Moses: American Primitive,” and was published in 1946 by Dryden Press.
Meanwhile museums and galleries were reproducing Grandma Moses’ paintings as Christmas Cards or poster prints. She was advised to copyright her work, which she did to protect her royalties. When she later received checks from royalty payments, Grandma Moses had a hard time understanding that process. She said she did not want more money than the initial price she had asked for her paintings.
Her family saw she was not able to manage her finances so they hired a lawyer to do so. He was an old friend of the family, and he helped to administer her income up to time of her death.
In the following year, 1947, Ala Story, an art critic and curator, approached Grandma Moses to document her life in a movie. The documentary based on her daily life and family came out in 1950. It was well-received and won a nomination for best documentary by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science.
Meanwhile her fame continued to grow and Grandma Moses was awarded the Women’s National Press Club Award. She went to Washington with her daughter-in-law where the official dinner was to take place. On May 14, 1949, President Harry Truman presented her with the certificate of outstanding accomplishment in Art, and she received a big ovation from the 700 guests present. On this trip she later visited the White House where she had tea with the President and the First Lady.
The following year, Granma Moses painted Fourth of July, which she sent to the President at the White House. The painting hangs there to this day.