Acquisitions News

Kallir Family Will Give 10 Grandma Moses Paintings to Smithsonian American Art Museum

Grandma Moses, Grandma Moses Goes to the Big City, 1946, oil on canvas.


Jane Kallir, co-director of Galerie St. Etienne in New York, announced that her family will donate ten paintings by Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses to the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., over the next seven years.

The first three gifts are Out for Christmas Trees (1946), Grandma Moses Goes to the Big City (1946)—both of which are currently on view at the museum—and Turkeys (1958). All ten paintings will figure in a traveling Grandma Moses exhibition slated for fall 2023, of which Jane Kallir is a consultant.

Otto Kallir, Jane Kallir’s grandfather and founder of Galerie St. Ettiene in 1939, was instrumental in Grandma Moses’s success, giving the artist her first solo show in 1940—she was 80 years old at the time. Titled “What a Farmwife Painted,” the exhibition featured 34 modestly sized paintings. Soon thereafter, Otto Kallir became the artist’s representative, and he bolstered her visibility as an artist by organizing traveling exhibitions of her work that visited 30 states, 10 European countries, and, despite Cold War tensions, Moscow. She was the first contemporary American to have work acquired by the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, in 1950.

Galerie St. Etienne represented Grandma Moses until her death in 1961 and now represents her estate. Grandma Moses made approximately 1,600 paintings during the last 23 years of her life.

Correction, 3/27/18, 5:15 p.m.: This article previously misstated details about the number of paintings in the estate of Grandma Moses. The artist created 1,600 paintings during her lifetime, but much of that total belongs to collectors or museums. 

© 2019 ARTnews Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. ARTnews® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.