At ISTA's good teaching conference last spring, there was a workshop on hallway learning. Students can learn a lot by reading and looking at things on the school walls! I plan to verbally pop quiz the students on the famous artist of the month, and reward good good hallway learners with small candies. This week, the students will be caught by surprise when I ask, "does anyone know how old Grandma Moses was when she began painting?" and toss someone a tootsie roll or jolly rancher if they know the answer. By next week, they will probably all memorize my bulletin board, in hopes of earning a treat!
The text on my bulletin board reads as follows:
Born: September 7, 1860
Died: December 13, 1961
Nationality: United States
Art style: American Folk Art
Anna Mary Robertson Moses, who is known simply as “Grandma Moses” did not start to paint in earnest until she was 78 years old! She continued to create art until her death at age 101.
Grandma Moses had worked as a farm hand beginning at age 12. At age 27, she married a hired man who worked on the same farm. They had 10 children, 5 of whom survived infancy. In addition to working on farms with her husband, Grandma Moses supplemented the family income by making potato chips and by churning butter from her cow.
Folk art is typically created in cultural isolation by untrained artists. Folk artists create scenes reminiscent of things they see every day.
Grandma Moses painted most of her artwork on strong pieces of cardboard. Most of her paintings show scenes of idyllic rural life. Some of her paintings are historical, dealing with stories told to her of her ancestors.