ELKHART — The Midwest Museum of American Art is presenting the exhibit Folk Memories: The Paintings of Emma Schrock from Friday, April 12, through Sunday, June 2.

Drawn from the MMAA holdings, the exhibit features a dozen paintings that survey the Amish subject matter made famous by the ‘Grandma Moses of Elkhart County.’

Schrock was born in Wakarusa in 1924 and began painting at age 40. She did not marry or have children, and her paintings became like children to her, according to a press release.

The release said Shrock’s Old Order Mennonite community forbade the depiction of the human form, but that she was allowed to paint and sell her pictures in order to make a living.

As a folk artist, Schrock painted from memories gathered from her childhood, as well as things she experienced among the Amish and Mennonite communities, such as scenes of one-room schools, barn raising and quilting tables, all typical of the artist’s output.

She was able to make one painting a day, which became her work ethic for the rest of her life, according to the release.

While it is estimated that she made more than 2,000 works in 25 years as an artist, it is her earlier work, from 1964 through 1980, that is most authentically naive and most highly prized by collectors.

The MMAA permanent collection currently maintains 27 works by Schrock, three of which were purchased from her first solo public art exhibit in 1979 at the museum.

Though Schrock died in 1991, her paintings are still being collected today by enthusiasts from northern Indiana to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the release said.

The Midwest Museum of American Art is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1-4 p.m.


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