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Artists in Their Golden Years

Artist John Root Hopkins stands next to "Jack the Reaper," his eight-foot-tall painting of assisted-suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian.
Tracy Wahl, NPR News /
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Artist John Root Hopkins stands next to "Jack the Reaper," his eight-foot-tall painting of assisted-suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

Western culture has long romanticized the image of the young artist, but for some people, creative inspiration comes at the other end of life.

Perhaps the best known of these artistic late bloomers is Anna Mary Robertson Moses, a.k.a. Grandma Moses, who did not embark on a serious painting career until her late 70s. A new exhibit at Baltimore's American Visionary Art Museum pays tribute to the late onset of creativity, showcasing the works of Grandma Moses and dozens of other, lesser-known elderly artists. NPR's Steve Inskeep recently visited the museum.

Among the featured artists are John Root Hopkins, a 73-year-old former patent attorney whose works include a giant portrait of assisted-suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian, and Ted Ludwiczak, a former contact lens maker who now carves faces out of stone. The exhibit lasts until September 2004.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.

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