“The People’s Artist” Museum in Waynesboro

Collectors and art lovers from all over the world have come to the P. Buckley Moss Museum to view the permanent collection of Pat Moss’s original work, and to experience a retrospective tour of her life and her art. Her art has a look that is quite distinctive and has gained popular appeal. Her work is both a critical and a popular success. The museum recently celebrated it twentieth year and its 600,000th visitor.

Known as “The People’s Artist,” Pat Moss’s art, as well as her life, speaks to ordinary people. Her paintings hang in some of the country’s premier galleries. Her extremely popular early work focused upon horses and religious art. Her true success came, however, when she became enamored with the lifestyle of the Amish and Mennonites in Pennsylvania, and began to create her “plain people” paintings. Collectors were drawn to her depictions of the simple, hard working lives which seemed to reflect a little of the Henry David Thoreau character that lurks in all who secretly eschew the modern materialistic culture.

The museum opened in 1989 for the purpose of recognizing, archiving, and illuminating the public about Moss’s work through exhibits, lectures, and her permanent collection. Since its opening the museum has attracted over 45,000 visitors each year. For some, it provides an introduction to works that have become traditions in many homes. For experienced collectors, it offers an opportunity to research the various stages of her art career, and to understand the iconic meanings in her work.

In addition to Ms Moss’s work, the museum’s collection includes religious art, the Virginia collection, and some other more modernistic styles from other artists. The museum is handicap accessible, and the admission is free.

Don’t be afraid to bring the children. The body of the work displayed there tells a story of a lifestyle that can enrich a child’s experience. Additionally, there is a special bonus for the young ones. An extremely large handmade dollhouse is displayed in the entryway to the museum, with a remarkable level of detail that will excite both parent and child. If you’re a lover of fine art, don’t leave Waynesboro without a visit to the P. Buckley Moss Museum.