NPR

'Old In Art School': An MFA Inspires A Memoir Of Age

Upon retiring from Princeton University at age 64, historian Nell Irvin Painter decided to pursue a second career in visual art among students a third of her age.
Source: Samantha Clark

At the age of 64, when some retired people would look at brochures for cruises, Nell Irvin Painter — professor emeritus of American history at Princeton University — decided to go to art school.

This wasn't just an adult extension course. First, she went to the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers for a new bachelor's degree, and then Rhode Island School of Design for her MFA. She is now a real-life, income-producing , and has written a memoir about going to art school with students a third her age, and how art

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR4 min readSociety
20 Years On, The Background Check System Continues To Miss Dangerous Gun Buyers
Mere months before the shooting at Columbine High School, the federal government established a background check system to screen gun buyers but shootings haven't waned.
NPR2 min read
Opinion: Amid Devastation, Paris Firefighters' Bravery Is An Inspiration
NPR's Scott Simon reflects on the efforts of the firefighters who rushed into the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris when it caught fire earlier this week.
NPR4 min readPolitics
'Republic Of Lies' Explores The Fixation With Conspiracy Theories
Author Anna Merlan's recitations are chilling, as are her warnings that fringe beliefs tend to go mainstream — and how their rise is seen against a resurgence in nationalism and white supremacy.