Old In Art School by Nell Painter
A Memoir of Starting Over

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The author offers perceptive insights about the meaning of art: the difference between thinking like a historian and an artist; the “contented concentration” she feels when making art; and the works of many black artists. A spirited chronicle of transformation and personal triumph.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

One of O: The Oprah Magazine's Top Books of Summer

"Old in Art School is a glorious achievement―bighearted and critical, insightful and entertaining. This book is a cup of courage for everyone who wants to change their lives." ―Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage and Silver Sparrow

Following her retirement from Princeton University, celebrated historian Dr. Nell Irvin Painter surprised everyone in her life by returning to school―in her sixties―to earn a BFA and MFA in painting. In Old in Art School, she travels from her beloved Newark to the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design; finds meaning in the artists she loves, even as she comes to understand how they may be undervalued; and struggles with the unstable balance between the pursuit of art and the inevitable, sometimes painful demands of a life fully lived.

How are women and artists seen and judged by their age, looks, and race? What does it mean when someone says, “You will never be an artist”? Who defines what “An Artist” is and all that goes with such an identity, and how are these ideas tied to our shared conceptions of beauty, value, and difference?

Old in Art School is Nell Painter’s ongoing exploration of those crucial questions. Bringing to bear incisive insights from two careers, Painter weaves a frank, funny, and often surprising tale of her move from academia to art.
 

About Nell Painter

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Nell Irvin Painter is the award-winning author of many books, including Sojourner Truth, Southern History Across the Color Line, Creating Black Americans, The History of White People, and Standing at Armageddon. She is currently the Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, at Princeton University and lives in Newark, New Jersey, and the Adirondacks.
 
Published June 19, 2018 by Counterpoint. 352 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Old In Art School
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Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 20 2018

The author offers perceptive insights about the meaning of art: the difference between thinking like a historian and an artist; the “contented concentration” she feels when making art; and the works of many black artists. A spirited chronicle of transformation and personal triumph.

Read Full Review of Old In Art School: A Memoir o... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Magras on Jun 15 2018

Painter’s tone can be self-congratulatory, but she tells an inspiring tale of an older person pursuing a long delayed passion. And she has an entertaining writing style...

Read Full Review of Old In Art School: A Memoir o... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

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