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Dr. Nell Irvin Painter (photo by Dwight Carter)

Old in Art School: in conversation with Nell Painter

Professor Emerita at Princeton University and New York Times bestseller, Nell Painter, talks about her memoir, 'Old in Art School'

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?

About Nell

Painter is the author of Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over (2018), The History of White People (2010), and several other books of history. She is the Edwards Professor of American History, emerita, at Princeton University, and the chair of MacDowell’s board of directors.




Wed, 27th - Wed, 27th Mar 2024


19:00 - 20:00





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