Sep 17, 2020 - Sale 2542

Sale 2542 - Lot 205

Price Realized: $ 81,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 50,000 - $ 80,000
Happy Days.

Oil on masonite, 1961. 470x673 mm; 18 1/2x26 1/2 inches. Signed in oil, lower center recto. Titled, dated "March 1961" and numbered "1992" in ink on the Grandma Moses Properties, Inc., New York, copyright label, verso.

Ex-collection Hammer Galleries, New York; sold Sotheby's, New York, April 29, 1978, sale 4116, lot 703; acquired from the above by private collection, Buffalo; thence by descent to current owner, private collection, Buffalo.

Exhibited "150 Anniversary Exhibition," Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, Lewiston, New York, September-October 2006; "Of Their Time--Hudson River School to Postwar Modernism," Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, Lewiston, New York, 2018-2019.

Published Otto Kallir, Grandma Moses, 1973, page 324, number 1505 (illustrated).

Moses (1860-1961), born Anna Mary Robertson, began painting when she was 78 years old when arthritis prevented her from embroidering her cheerful idyllic farm scenes for friends. She was self-taught and her paintings had the same brightness and two-dimensionality of her needlework. It was not until a New York engineer, Louis J. Caldor happened upon Moses' paintings in 1938 at a small drugstore in Hoosick Falls, New York, that she was urged to become a professional artist. Though Moses and her family were incredulous, her works were included in a show of unknown painters in 1939 at the Museum of Modern Art. These charming, primitive style paintings caught the attention of Otto Kallir, who mounted Moses' first of many solo exhibitions at Galerie St. Etienne, New York in 1940. She gained mass appeal when, in 1946, Christmas cards of her paintings were first issued.

She painted over 1,500 works during her career, which are described as being in a primitive folk art style utilizing a flat one-dimensional space with simple shapes, reflective of needlework compositions. She was known for her depiction of rural life reflecting her upbringing on a farm in upstate New York. This work, one of the last she painted, is characteristically cheerful with a family in the foreground surrounded by chickens on their farm as the hilly landscape recedes in the background.