Art: The Old-Timey One

The paintings on display in the drugstore window in the town of Hoosick Falls, N.Y., were as bright as a calico dress, gay as an old-fashioned quilt—bustling scenes of country folk doing everyday chores. The artist was obviously untrained, but to Manhattan Collector Louis Caldor, who spotted them and bought them for an average of $4 each, they had a kind of magic. Who had painted them? An old lady of 78, Caldor was told, who lived down on Cambridge Road. She was Anna Mary Robertson Moses, and from that moment until she slipped...

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