Grandma Moses, who died at the age of 101 in 1961, was one of the most beloved folk artists in the United States. "The Year with Grandma Moses," by W. Nikola-Lisa, brings together 13 of her classic paintings, along with brief excerpts from the artist's own autobiographical writings. The result is a beautiful tribute to a remarkable artist.
The book opens with a great full-color photographic portrait of Grandma Moses at work at her painting table in 1952. A brief but informative biography sets the stage for the treasures that follow.
Grandma Moses was a rural New York farm wife for most of her long life, and her paintings reflect this world. Colorful, lively, and rich in detail, these paintings record and celebrate the daily lives of farm communities. We see classic farmhouses, a horse-drawn carriage, children climbing a tree, cows grazing, people engaging in chores, and other sights.
Because the book focuses on a year in Grandma's world, the paintings reflect all of the seasons. We see the green fields of springtime, the brilliant foliage of autumn, and the snowy landscapes of winter. "The Year with Grandma Moses" is a wonderful book that captures the spirit of an American creative legend.
on January 21, 2012
I use this book to help my kindergarten students learn about Grandma Moses. We focus on her use of details and elaboration to "tell" the stories of her life and the lives of her family and friends. The illustrations are lovely and full of details for my students to practice describing and analyzing. I ask them what they see. (e.g. If they say they see winter, I ask them what they see in the picture that lets them know it might be winter.) Students then begin a drawing assignment using details to visually "tell" the story of our first snowfall this year (it came BEFORE Halloween!) We then extend our learning with a book about Clementine Hunter, another wonderful and inspiring, untrained artist. The stories of these two ladies, from different parts of the U.S., reinforce the worth and value of all our lives and the artwork we create.