Reading Practice Test 73 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension

Passage 3: 

Of all the folk artists in the United States the most well known of the twentieth century is certainly Grandma Moses-Anna Mary Robertson Moses (1860 – 1961). She was also the most successful within her lifetime and her work was reproduced on greeting cards and calendars and in prints. As with many folk artists, her career as a painter started late in life, at the age of 67, but she continued painting until her death at the age of 101, so her active painting life still spanned over 34 years.

Her subjects are based on the New England countryside and evoke a strong mood of nostalgia. Many of her early paintings are copies of, or use sections from, prints by Currier and Ives that she then recomposed in her own way. In her versions the figures became more stylized and the landscapes less naturalistic. Her painting was preceded by the production of landscapes in needlework, and it was only the onset of arthritis that forced the change of medium. The images, however, continued the same, and she reexecuted some of her needlework landscapes in paint at a later date.

From these early sources she then began to compose original paintings such as Housick Falls. New York in Winter (1944) that relied on her surroundings and her memories of country life and activities: these paintings display an ~ technical ability By the 1940’s her work had become a marketable commodity and collectors created a demand for her paintings.

Like many painters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Grandma Moses made use of photographs for information, for figures, for fragments of landscape, and for buildings, but her work, especially that of her later years, was not a slavish copying of these but compositions using them as source material. Her output was prodigious, and consequently her work is of varying quality. Although much of her public appeal is based on the emotive image of the “Grandma” figure producing naive pictures of country life, her paintings place her among the top folk painters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

1. What is the main topic of the passage?

(A) The painting materials used by Grandma Moses
(B) The major artistic influences on Grandma Moses
(C) The folk art of Grandma Moses
(D) The life of Grandma Moses

2. According to the passage, Grandma Moses started her painting career

(A) without much success

(B) in her sixties

(C) after much study

(D) by producing greeting cards

3. Why does the author mention Currier and Ives in lines 8-9?

(A) They are folk artists
(B) They collected many of Grandma Moses’ paintings
(C) They made calendars from Grandma Moses’ landscapes
(D) Grandma Moses based some paintings on their work

4. According to the passage, Grandma Moses switched from needlework to painting because of

(A) her desire to create landscapes

(B) the public’s interest in painting

(C) her need to make money

(D) a physic condition that affected her

5. The word “naive” in line 23 is closest in meaning to which of the following?

(A) Unsophisticated

(B) Ignorant

(C) Unspoiled

(D) Trusting

6. According to the passage, Grandma Moses based her painting on all of the following EXCEPT

(A) photographs

(B) her needlework

(C) her family

(D) prints

7. Where in the passage does the author mention when Grandma Moses became popularly accepted?

(A) Lines 4 – 6

(B) Lines 10 – 12

(C) Lines 16 – 17

(D) Lines 21 – 24

Reading Practice Test 73 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
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