As our local DAR chapter's museum committee chairperson, I have the responsibility of providing a year-end report. Never having the pleasure of touring the national DAR offices and museum, I am relegated to taking virtual tours on-line. But as virtual tours go, the DAR on-line exhibits are quick, fascinating, and short of being there: fabulous!

Always intrigued with the unusual, I was pleasantly surprised to step into the current virtual tour: By, For and Of the People: Folk Art and Americana at the DAR Museum. It is the DAR's first ever exhibit of American Folk Art. A taste of purebred Americana; folk artists were untrained in the "fine arts" and produced folksy art pieces that also were sometimes utilitarian.

Winding my way through the exhibit, I was struck by the colorful and often playful works of art. And then I paused to gaze at one piece that "tickled-my-fancy": The Battle of Bennington by Anna Mary Robertson Moses. Yes, the ever-famous grandmother of the American Folk Art movement, Grandma Moses.
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The 'Battle of Bennington' by Grandma Moses
The painting is lovely and whimsical, just as her other works. But the subject caught my attention and I peered at the American Revolutionary soldiers dancing with danger across the canvas; firing their cannons and waving their flags.

True to her life, Grandma Moses painted the Battle of Bennington after she discovered, at the young age of ninety-two, that her great-grandfather fought in the American Revolution. Feeling inspired with her discovery, Anna Mary not only provided her interpretation of the Battle of Bennington on canvas; she also became a member of the DAR. When others at such an age would forego the adventure or lack the stamina to participate in a new organization, Anna Mary dove in and took off.

Myself becoming inspired by Grandma Moses' tenacity at life; I contemplated her budding interest in genealogy in her early nineties. When many of us peak with our ancestral search by our fifties and sixties; Anna Mary was invigorated with her newly discovered family tree while whisking into her nineties. One wonders where her creative mind would have taken her, if she had lived past her 101 years!

I suppose one can draw lessons from Anna Mary Robertson Moses; not only in her thirst for life but also in her quest for truth. To keep searching for the next intriguing story of your past. And whatever your timeline of life might be; always know that there is one more door to look behind.

And one more newly discovered ancestor waiting to "tickle-your fancy."

Keep searching for answers,

Cheryl
(Take your own DAR Museum virtual tour and check out the DAR Descendants Database to help with your ancestral search)

 


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