Grandma Can Paint!

Grandma MosesOn this day back in 1705, Rococo painter Matthaus Gunther was born. He did a lot of work; I’m not that fond of any of it, but he was definitely a great artist. The composer Francois-Andre Danican Philidor was born in 1726. Here is a bit from his opera comique version of Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones:

Poet Elinor Wylie was born in 1885. The great director Elia Kazan was born in 1909. I do love his work, but I’ve come to terms with his testifying before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. In the past, I didn’t know what to think about it. But I don’t forgive him for it because he never apologized for it. He was unrepentant to the end and so as a person, he was an asshole. But he directed a number of great pictures. Since I have to replace this scene in another article, here is the scene from On the Waterfront:

James Van Allen, known for his study of the magnetosphere, was born in 1914. Modern representational painter Jacob Lawrence was born in 1917. Buddy Holly was born in 1936. Here he is doing “Peggy Sue” on the TV box:

Folk singer Ronnie Gilbert is 87 today. Saxaphonist Sonny Rollins is 83. The hilarious and wonderful and beautiful Julie Kavner is 63. Here is a very funny scene from Hannah and Her Sisters:

Chrissie Hynde is 62. Here she is with The Pretenders doing “Kid” (well, it’s the music video but it is about the best thing I could find):

Actor Corbin Bernsen is 59. And great actor Toby Jones is 46.

The day, however, belongs to the great American primitivist painter Anna Mary Robertson Moses, who was born on this day in 1860. Better known as Grandma Moses, she is the best known artist of the movement for a very good reason: her Yankee charm is overwhelming as you can see in this painting Bennington:

Bennington - Grandma Moses

Happy birthday Grandma Moses!


I am more fond of her contemporary Bernard Frouchtben. In fact, I own one of his paintings through a weird twist of fate. It is unfortunately in very bad shape but I hope someday to be able to spend the thousand or so dollars it will take to restore it. I should really write an article about Frouchtben. He deserves it.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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