If not for the sign out front, the P. Buckley Moss museum would appear to be a charming, old Virginian country home that oozes simple elegance. The building has an exterior that is fitting for the artwork housed inside. With an eye that captures the simple beauty in the world, P. Buckley Moss defies the suffering artist stereotype. The artist’s personal philosophy is to paint “the future-hope that seeds positive thoughts of love, family and the beauty of the world.” Moss’ art reflects a spirit of appreciation for the good things in life. One does not have to be classically educated in art to appreciate the works of P. Buckley Moss. Her artwork stirs feelings of joy and inspiration that appeal to all people. Known as “the people’s artist”, Moss offers her art as a gift of encouragement to the world.
Moss was born Patricia Buckley, in New York in 1933. During her early school years Patricia had academic trouble related to dyslexia, however, her artistic ability was recognized by one of her teachers. This teacher recommended that Pat’s parents enroll her into Manhattan’s Washington Irving High School for the Fine Arts that fostered an environment which would nurture her talent and where her dyslexic issues would not dictate her abilities. Patricia went on to strengthen her artistic expression at New York’s Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, in the specialized studies of fine art and graphic design.
Moss eventually came to Virginia when her husband’s company transferred him to Waynesboro in 1964, at that time Moss was the mother of five children with one on the way. It was here in the Shenandoah Valley that Moss came to appreciate the simple beauty of Virginian country life, as well as the Amish and Mennonite communities. In 1967 Moss had her first sellout, one-person museum exhibition. The successful exhibition gained Moss wide recognition and fueled her to market her work which led to the opening of the P. Buckley Moss museum in 1989.
The subjects of Moss’ art are clearly recognized as images of joy, but at the same time are open to the interpretation of the viewer. In her works depicting rural landscapes and country life, the simple beauty of a snow covered farm house may sir happy memories of warm and cozy fires inside, holiday celebrations, or building snowmen and snow forts. In Moss’ images of animals, her use of line gives the animal expressive features that can remind the viewer of a beloved pet, or give the impression of a majestic wild creature. In Moss’ distinctive portraits of the Amish and Mennonite people, she captures the delight in everyday activities and the deep joy of a community that appreciates life to the fullest.
Moss is known as the “people’s artist” because through her art she communicates positive expressions of inspiration and happiness that everyone can appreciate. In spite of her early academic discouragement, Moss has thrived as an artist and is a champion for the education of the learning disabled. Her own story of perseverance is a true result of her optimism that she passes on as a message of hope through her art. P. Buckley Moss enjoys making art that touches people’s soul. Admission to the museum is free so that all can experience her gift to the world. Moss makes personal appearances, during a “Barn Show” at the Waynesboro museum; to reach out and connect with her viewers at the show she personalizes the artwork of her collectors. The next Barn Show is July 13th-15th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. The museum hours are Monday–Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm. During the Barn Show, museum hours are, Friday-Sunday 10 am to 6 pm.
A visit to this museum lends a contagious cheerful appreciation for subtle joys in life and will add sincere affection of the beauty in the Shenandoah Valley. Within a 20 minute drive from Cabin Creekwood, this museum is a must see.