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The Quilting Bee

Grandma Moses

The Quilting Bee

Grandma Moses
  • Date: 1940 - 1950
  • Style: Naïve Art (Primitivism)
  • Genre: genre painting
  • Tag: group-portraits, mealtimes

Moses was basically a landscape painter, but certain memories and themes demanded an indoor setting. She herself knew this, and some of her patrons encouraged her to expand her repertoire to include interiors. The subject, however, did not come easily to her.

"I tried that interior but did not like it, so I erased it," she noted on one occasion. "That don't seem to be in my line. I like to paint something that leads me on and on into the unknown, something that I want to see away on beyond. Well, maybe I try again."

Despite her difficulties with the subject, Moses did paint a number of striking interiors. Without the landscape to anchor the scene and provide an element of realism, her interiors rely almost wholly on the artist's command of abstract form and patterning. These qualities are used to maximum advantage in The Quilting Bee, wherein the colors and forms of the large quilt and the elaborate table setting play off neatly against the bright clothing of the numerous bustling characters. Still, Moses could not resist adding a bit of nature beyond the tall, uncurtained windows.

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