About Women, Aging, and Art: A Crosscultural Anthology:
positive associations? The thirteen contributions to this edited volume explore a broad range of images of old women, ranging from medieval “old wives” to contemporary re-imaginations of shamans and witches and empowering self-portraits. Works from medieval Europe to colonialtime Polynesia, present West Africa, Japan, and the Americas, in a multiplicity of media are explored in detail. These studies of varied representations of “old women” offer fresh perspectives and an engaging dialogue about society’s values and preconceptions regarding the wisdom of our elders and the “golden years” in different times and cultures.
Contributors examine cultures in which old women are regarded as significant sources of wisdom and power; they also explain the contexts for widespread stereotypes of old women, elsewhere, as physically repulsive, powerless, and/or simply invisible. Essays demonstrate how visual art has reinforced these varying attitudes across different centuries and societies and introduce the work of artists who have challenged negative stereotypes through a variety of means, including nude self-portraits of the aging female body.
In this fascinating, important, and innovative book, the authors fearlessly tackle controversial issues, find humor in surprising places, and convincingly argue that aged women can, and should, be viewed as wise, powerful, creative, and-yes, beautiful.” – Nancy G. Heller, Professor of Art History, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, USA
“A fascinating exploration of a little discussed subject … The book is a revelation, one that opens up new vistas for both art history and age studies.” – Julia Twigg, Professor of Social Policy & Sociology, University of Kent, UK