For most of Anna Moses’s life, working the family farm in Eagle Bridge, New York, had been the central activity of her existence. By the 1930s she had retired from her duties and took up painting. Moses created pictures depicting idyllic scenes of her rural past, and the flat quality of her artworks embodied a charm capable of winning over sophisticated viewers. By 1940, the art world was coming to know the artist known as Grandma Moses, and she would become one of America’s best-loved painters.
Kristin Helberg, also a self-taught American folk artist, painted this portrait as a personal tribute to Moses. She based it loosely on a photograph showing the artist at work at her decorated tip-up table. Helberg also made the vinegar-grained frame.