Carmen Herrera Artist at 99

I love reading a blog I subscribe to and get in my Email. It is from EngAGE. It is an organization based in Southern California that has created housing for older adults and runs all kinds of enrichment classes at their complexes. At their North Hollywood complex they have a full theatre available for the residents who can get involved in producing their own plays. In addition they have this uplifting blog to combat ageism. It features older adults doing all kinds of creative things. Senior is another organization I love. They often feature similar articles as EngAGE and they discuss issues that impact older adults.

There are so many inspiring stories. One that was sent to me recently from EngAGE was about Carmen Herrera. She is an artist who was “discovered” at age 89 and now at age 99 her work is being featured at a famous museum and gallery. She is still working at age 99. I am sharing this information from the EngAGE blog and other articles about her. Here is one from the Guardian  and another one here. Her art is now to be shown at The Whitney Museum Of American Art and the Lisson Gallery.

When I first read about Carmen Herrera I said fantastic! Here is an artist who is still creating. I love these stories about older people and their spirit to continue to create. Artists, writers, musicians often can all continue practicing their craft as long as they want. This inspires me and I envy them in that they have this wonderful work.

An alarming bit of information came up about women artists. I also get a newsletter from which is about art. I read an essay “The Problem of the Overlooked Female Artist” by Ashton Cooper talking about how women and minority artists for many years were held back by a white male dominated art world. Or at least an art world that only respected white male artists. This is so disheartening to me. I did not realize this was again another field where this discrimination was going full force. Carmen Herrera mentions it in the interview above. How she was denied a show in a gallery because she was a woman. I don’t know how these artists did not completely despair. The essay from Hyperallergic links to several other articles on this topic of “overlooked” women artists. The author suggests the story of these artists lives should be explored in more depth to shine a light on what it was like to face this discrimination and how they coped with it all through the years before they were finally recognized.  Some died before being recognized.

Carmen Herrera via Frederico Seve Gallery:



And from The Smithsonian:




JJJ 2015



10 thoughts on “Carmen Herrera Artist at 99

  1. annanolan2014

    Your post has struck a chord, Deborah. I also abhor discrimination, which, unfortunately is still rife in many spheres. It’s not easy to soldier on despite such obstacles, and these forgotten artists undoubtedly deserve our admiration. What an inspirational lady Carmen Herrera is!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thanks Anna. She is great isn’t she? I have thought we have overcome all this discrimination and then here it comes again. I guess we have a ways to go yet. Keep soldiering Anna. ❤


    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Yes, I think I would like living in a community like that when I get a bit older. Or in a college town where they have free or low cost classes for seniors. I did go to a free showing at the theatre. I got the invitation from the blog and saw a documentary on a theatre arts program for people with dementia. So I saw their little theatre, very cool.


  2. shanjeniah

    Rather than focus on the discrimination, I’m choosing to celebrate that there are places, programs, and people who value others regardless of gender, age, hue, bed partners, or whatever else. Let’s have more of this great stuff! =D

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Prajakta

    Simply lovely! Here I am surrounded by a 20 something individuals (and I am one of them) complaining about how we should have figured out life by now. And here is a lady, at 89 living it as she chooses to and following her passion. I am glad the discrimination of gender and even age for that matter did not stop her!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Invisable Women Artists Revealed | Notes Tied On The Sagebrush


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