P. Buckley Moss was born on May 20, 1933 on Staten Island in New York City. She attended Washington Irving High School for the Fine Arts in Manhattan. In what turned out to be quite ironic in light of her later career, she was voted “Least Likely to Succeed” by the students of her high school. She continued on to study art, prints and posters at Cooper Union. Soon after graduating in 1955, she married a chemical engineer named Jack Moss.
In 1964, Jack’s work took Pat and her five-going-on-six children to Waynesboro, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley. Appreciating the rural scenery, she began using it in her art, prints and posters. She was particularly drawn to the Amish and Mennonite people she observed across the countryside. Selling out a one-person museum exhibition in 1967, she started to market her work more seriously. The subtle stylings and calming nature of her work draw widespread acclaim, and her art garnered the interest of collectors across Europe and Japan.
The P. Buckley Moss Museum opened in Waynesboro, Virginia in 1989. It has grown to attract roughly 45,000 visitors each year. In 1995, the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education was created to aid children with learning disabilities. In the marketing of her art, prints and posters, Moss is called “The People’s Artist”.