Old in Art School
A renowned historian at Princeton University, the author of half a dozen books and an important and oft-sought voice on African American history and identity, Nell Painter wasn’t your typical aspiring art school student. She was 64 when she entered a new world obsessed with youth, 69 when she emerged with a master of fine arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design.
“I look back on it, and … getting a Ph.D. in history at Harvard was a piece of cake in comparison,” she says.
Painter recounts her experience – her challenging transition from a decorated 30-year career in academia to life as “emerging artist, but in an old body” – in a discussion of her acclaimed book Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over. She is joined by the Library’s director of readers’ services, Kaite Stover.
Now working as an artist from her homes in Newark, New Jersey, and the Adirondack foothills of New York, Painter recently reached a milestone of sorts, making a first sale of one of her works to a gallery in New York City. It’s a follow-up in drawing, collage, and text to her bestselling book The History of White People.
Her memoir, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography in 2018, is the Library’s latest FYI Book Club selection.
Watch her conversation with Stover live online at YouTube.com/kclibrary.
FYI Book Group
Thursday, January 7, 2021
Participants must RSVP; you will receive a Zoom link and password in advance of the online conversation.