The Artist

The artist P. Buckley Moss was asked how long it takes for her to paint a picture.  "My whole life," she said.  For Pat, it is this lifelong passion and belief that is expressed in her work, giving us a collection of art that is filled with a lifetime of experiences:  from her Irish-Italian heritage to her urban art school education, the laughter of her children, and the simplicity of birds flying south for the winter.  
As a young mother Pat moved her family south and increasingly found inspiration in the imagery of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, becoming captivated by the life and culture of the Amish and Mennonite people of the area.  She embraced the local landscapes, lifestyles, and traditions and felt that the life and culture she was part of held an important message for modern society:  live simply and enjoy every moment!
The artistic talent, passion, and vision of P. Buckley Moss is shared in our galleries through an extensive selection of her works and accompanying stories, and the artist enjoys every opportunity to invite visitors to more fully share the beauty and sources of her artistic inspiration.

The Early Years

Patricia Buckley was born on May 20th, 1933, in the Richmond Borough of New York City. She was the second of three children of an Irish American/Sicilian marriage. In grade school, young Patricia was perceived as a poor student, a circumstance probably attributable to dyslexia which is a generally misunderstood reading and perceptional "disorder". Nonetheless, one of her teachers determined that this little girl who was "Not Proficient In Anything" was artistically gifted. This outside opinion helped to convince Pat's mother to enroll her daughter in an extraordinary public school for girls in downtown Manhattan: the Washington Irving High School for the Fine Arts. It was there, in what obviously was a friendly learning environment, that Pat's artistic abilities were finally encouraged and seriously nourished.

Formal Training

Pat at Cooper Union
St. Francis - Etching/drypoint

In 1951 Pat received a scholarship to New York's Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. She studied at the prestigious art school for four years and specialized in fine arts and graphic design. Known for its intellectual rigor, the Cooper Union encouraged Pat to seek a more personal expression of her ideas through her art. Intense study and discussions with professors and fellow students expanded Pat's artistic horizons and gave birth to her unique style, freely expressive and often rich in religious symbolism.

Defeating Dyslexia

Pat Moss is dyslexic. In the company of such notable people as Henry Winkler, Greg Louganis, Nelson Rockefeller, Tom Cruise, Cher and Magic Johnson, Pat is someone with a learning disability who has achieved great success. Like many people with a learning differene, Pat is highly perceptive and sensitive, with an uncanny ability to communicate with others through her art.

Having achieved success, she devotes a great deal of her time and effort to helping others. Donations of P. Buckley Moss art have raised over four million dollars for worthy charities. The P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children's Education is devoted to promoting the use of art in the classroom, especially as a means to teach children with learning differences.

Early Career

Country Fair Exhibit

In 1964, Pat's husband's work took his family, by then five children with a sixth child on the way to Waynesboro in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It was here that she came to appreciate the quiet beauty of rural scenery and to know the picturesque and deeply religious Amish and Mennonite "plain" people. Soon, she was incorporating these new elements into her art creating an impetus that revitalized her artistic career and reignited her ambitions.

Lady Bird Johnson, Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, and Pat.

In 1967 she won her first major art show prize, a one-person museum exhibition. This exhibition was a "sellout", and the success encouraged her to start seriously marketing her work. The uniqueness of her style and the warmth generated by her subject matter quickly won her wide spread recognition.

P. Buckley Moss Society

Free Spirit - Society Member's Only Giclée

Pat Moss has become a role model for the learning impaired and frequently is asked to speak to special education classes. Donations of Moss' original works and prints to related children's charities have raised millions of dollars for their causes. In 1987, the P. Buckley Moss Society was established by a few zealous collectors to assist the artist and her husband in all of their charitable endeavors.

This Society now has some 38 active chapters and a membership of approximately 15,000 members. P. Buckley Moss is both the Society's inspiration and its "battle cry" as it spreads the artist's messages of concern and optimism for what might otherwise be forgotten and misunderstood children and adults. To learn more about the Society, visit their website,

P. Buckley Moss Foundation

In 1995 the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children's Education was formed to help children with learning disabilities to succeed in school and in life. The Foundation encourages the use of the visual and performing arts in all educational programs, but especially those involving children who learn differently.

The Foundation hosts an annual teachers conference, a forum for sharing cutting edge methods of art-based education. The Foundation also grants regular teacher and student awards.

The People's Artist

Pat Moss in her art and in her life seems to "speak" a language that ordinary folks are able to understand. Talent, determination, intelligibility, a little luck, and lots of caring are all parts of the Moss phenomenon. These are the attributes that constitute Moss' life and fill her art. For many who know her work and are familiar with her life and her upbeat philosophy, she truly is "THE PEOPLE'S ARTIST".

For more information about Pat and her work, order the DVD, "P. Buckley Moss: The Lady Behind the Brush", a documentary by WVPT Public Television.

Awards and Honors

1976 American Mother Artist of the Year.

1976 1st Place, National Arts & Crafts Exhibit, WN, D.C.

1984 Commendation from the House and the Senate of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

1985 Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts Retrospective Exhibition.

1985 Indianapolis Children's Museum Exhibition.

1986 American Artist of the Year, International Wildlife/Western and American
Show, Chicago.

1986 Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art, Centenary College, New Jersey.

1986 Cultural Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

1987 Mammography Unit at Warren Memorial Hosp. (Virginia) named the P.
Buckley Moss Ward.

1987 Appointed Honorary Tar Heel (North Carolina).

1988 Commendation from the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

1988 Commendation from the House of Representatives of the State of

1988 Awarded The Sagamore of the Wabash (Indiana).

1988 Contributor of the Year Award, Straight - Tampa Bay.

1988 Conferred title of Special Honorary Citizen of Takamatsu, Japan.

1989 The Nittany Lion Award, Penn State University.

1989 Appointed Honorary Kentucky Colonel (Kentucky).

1989 Annual Business/Industry Award, Waynesboro/East Augusta Chamber of

1989 Sight-Saving Chairman for The VA Affiliate of the National Society to
Prevent Blindness.

1989 Autobiography published.

1990 Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Angel Award, Diocese of St. Petersburg,

1990 Winner, International Plate Award: "Family Reunion," So. Bend, IN,

1990 Marion Ohio: P.B. Moss Day, July 11th.

1990 Tokyo, Japan - Metropolitan Museum One Person Exhibition.

1991 Award - Learning Disabled Children in State of Ohio (LDA).

1991 Citation; White House Points of Light Office.

1991 "Woman of the Year" - Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority.

1992 Citation from 1st Lady Barbara Bush for Moss' charitable contributions
towards learning disabled children.

1992 Louisville, Kentucky: P. Buckley Moss Day, March twenty-second.

1992 PBS documentary "Split the Wind" about P. Buckley Moss and her art.

1993 Learning Disabilities Association of America - documentary video, "A
Picture of Success".

1993 Paul Harris Award, International Rotary.

1993 Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio.

1994 Designated Easter at the White House Artist.

1995 Second time, Easter at White House Artist; designed program & created

1995 Outstanding Dyslexic Calendar Person (LDA), "JUNE".

1995 Kermezaar Keynote Artist, El Paso, Texas - October Arts Festival

1996 Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Bridgewater College, Bridgewater,

1996 Distinguished Virginian Award, Virginia Association of Broadcasters.

1997 Living Artist Exhibition, March-September, Staten Island Institute of Arts &

1998 Golden Key Award, Daughters of the American Revolution.

1998 Chosen Artist, 50th Anniversary Celebration, Community Arts Center of
Cambria County, PA

1999 Virginia Chamber of Commerce Diamond Award.

2002 International Dyslexia Association Pinnacle Award.

2002 Recognition by the Learning Disabilities Association of Virginia for her
tireless efforts to raise awareness of learning disabilities.

2003 December 9th, Senator George Allen read Pat's biography on the Senate
Floor, thereby making her history part of the Congressional Record.

2003 Received Woman of Distinction Award from Girl Scouts of Suncoast
Council, Tampa, FL.

2003 Received Margaret Sue Copenhaver Contribution to Education Award from
Roanoke Collge, Roanoke, VA.

2004 Received Honorary Doctorate for Public Service from Shippensburg
University, Shippensburg, PA.

2007 Guest Artist, Puyallup Fair in Washington State.

2007 August, "Thursday's Child", a play inspired by Pat's life, debuted at the
Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, WV.

2008 March 27th, Honored by The Library of Virginia as one of eight honorees
selected for its 2008 Virginia Women in History award.

2008 March 27-30th, Guest Artist and Speaker, 21st. Annual Quilters' Heritage
Celebration in Lancaster, PA

2008 May, WVPT documentary, "The Lady Behind the Brush" commemorating
Pat's 75th birthday.

2008 June, Pat's donated 'painted violin' appeared in the Charlottesville and
University Symphony Orchestra Art String auction

2008 November 13, Opening Doors Award from The Association for Children
and Adults with Learning Disabilities (ACLD) of Greater Pittsburgh for her
"tireless work in support of children and adults with specific learning

2008 November, Received Award from the Virginia Council for Exceptional
Children for her Commitment to Special Education.

2009 April 17th, Received a Certificate of Recognition proclaiming her an
Honorary Iowan by Iowa Governor Chester J. Culver. It was presented to
her by Iowa's First Lady Mari Culver.

2009 April 17th, Among the first members to be included in the Cooper Union's
Alumni Hall of Fame. Pat also received The Cooper Union's President's
Citation in 1999.

2013 May 24th, Received key to the City of Roanoke. Proclamation from Mayor naming May 24-25th, 2013 as P. Buckley Moss Days.

2013 August 30th, Named a Fellow of Virginia Tech’s outreach programs and the University’s Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement.

2014 April 13th, Received the inaugural Peter Cooper Public Service Award from Cooper Union's Alumni Association.