I ran across a few interesting books today about art, women, history, and blooming later in life. I found them both inspirational for similar reasons. Lisa Congdon, an artist who began later in life herself, authored this book on “older women leading extraordinary lives.” It’s inspiring, indeed. In “A Glorious Freedom” Congdon writes about women from all walks of life including Betty Reid Soskin who, at 95, worked as the oldest national park ranger! She says, “My first eight decades were spent collecting dots, and now I’m connecting dots.” It’s a quick, inspirational read.
Contents include brief biographies of late bloomers such as a Cheryl Strayed, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Grandma Moses, and Sister Madonna Buber — examples spanning the ages.
The second book was all about overlooked or relatively unknown female artists spanning hundreds of years. This book was a bit edgier with a more feminist bent but it certainly was educational! I was thrilled to learn about Louise Bourgeois, whose mesmerizing spider sculpture is replicated at Bentonville’s Crystal Bridges’ entrance. Other featured artists include Adelaide Labille-Guiard, Lee Krasner, and Kara Walker, an amazing artist known for her “candid investigation of race, gender, sexuality, and violence through silhouetted figures that have appeared in numerous exhibitions worldwide” according to her website at karawalkerstudio.com.
For a more comprehensive look at those late bloomers who stand out in a culture that adores youth, check out Late Bloomers by Rich Karlgaard. Read more about each book at their Amazon links, or find them on Libby from your local library. Worth the read!
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