While the U.S. population is increasingly made up of people over the age of 65, the media is saturated with images of youth and advertisements for products that promise to counteract the effects of age. On February 12 Exhibiting Signs of Age will open at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville and will remain on view through March 28. Exhibiting Signs of Age explores the American culture’s denigration of aging and representations of aging in 20th-century and contemporary artistic practice.
The photographs and works on paper in Exhibiting Signs of Age provide opportunities to contemplate subjective experiences of aging and gain perspective on a range of aging issues, and the exhibition investigates the politics, ethics and conventions of representation and identity.
Exhibiting Signs of Age includes work by Louise Bourgeois, Chuck Close, John Coplans, Imogen Cunningham, Jim Goldberg, Chester Higgins Jr., Ed Kashi, Nina Katchadourian, Nikki S. Lee, Robert Mapplethorpe and George Segal. A number of artists approached the theme of aging through self-portraiture, using their own bodies for self-scrutiny and exploration.
Several events will be held in conjunction with Exhibiting Signs of Age. On Tuesday, March 2, at 7 p.m. Julie Winokur’s documentary film Aging in America: The Years Ahead will be shown in the museum. Tuesday, March 9, at 12:15 p.m. Sharon Corwin, Lunder Curator of American Art at the museum and co-curator of the exhibition, will give a tour of the exhibition. Thursday, March 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Given Auditorium of the Bixler Art and Music Center, Chester Higgins Jr. will speak about his 10-year photographic project, Elder Grace: The Nobility of Aging; a reception for the exhibition and Higgins will be held prior to his lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the museum lobby.
The exhibition’s co-curators are Sharon Corwin and Beth Dungan, postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Medicine, the Humanities and Law at UC Berkeley. Exhibiting Signs of Age debuted at the University of California’s Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in 2003 and has achieved national media attention, including a review in the November 7th Chronicle of Higher Education.
Funding for Exhibiting Signs of Age is provided by the UC Berkeley Center on Aging/The Academic Geriatric Resource Center, the UC Berkeley Center for Medicine, the Humanities and Law, and the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities. The Colby exhibition of Exhibiting Signs of Age is made possible by the support of the Hanzer Art Fund.
Visit www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/exhibits/signs_of_age for the exhibit’s official Web site.
Colby museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, and the museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. For more information call 207-872-3228 or visit www.colby.edu/museum.