Anti aging guide

Successful Elderly People in the Arts



Examples of those successful elderly people in the field of arts

Old age is the final phase of growth and development. The longer we live, the greater will have been the opportunities to achieve the fullest possible progress. To live into old age therefore gives the greatest chance of fulfillment of potential. Aging usually implies a deterioration but we should not assume that this is universal to all human activities and talents.

Some talents are transient and fail to deliver the final promise or fruits. Usually such failure reflects a passing fashion which proves to be fleeting, although a retrospective view may negate such opinions. However, many artists, writers, and performers practice and develop their skills throughout a long and productive life. Progression of techniques and ideas then provide inspiration and guidance to others. What works would Van Gogh have produced had he lived beyond his 37 years, or Keats, if he had not died at 26? Suppose Jane Austen had lived longer than 42 years or Mozart survived beyond his 35 years?

It is an interesting academic exercise to consider these possibilities. Fortunately many examples of productive longevity are available and we are able to benefit from work produced at the end of successful careers. Examples are most easily found amongst the arts, but lifelong development can also be observed in other fields. Picasso (1881-1973) led such a long and productive life that it provides us with one of the best examples of progression in work and technique. As an adolescent he painted in the style of the old masters. At the beginning of the twentieth century he produced his blue period, then moved on to the pink period. He experimented with cubism and moved into surrealism and expressionism as violence swept across Europe. After the Second World War more gentle themes and methods returned. His work thus illustrates not only his own development but also that of his environment. Even after his death he continued to make his mark, as when his painting of Guernica, painted in 1937, was returned to Spain when democracy was established there.

The Cinema is very much a product of this century. Some of its earlier pioneers were able to grow with its development. Charlie Chaplin is a universally known example. Having started in English music hall, he was able to adapt to silent film comedy, introducing social comment and characterization within his slapstick films made during the years of the First World War. Although somewhat reluctant to make the transition to sound films he did successfully move on in the 1930s and continued to make films until his old age in the 1960s. He was deeply involved in the commercial aspects of film-making as well as taking starring roles. 1990 produced a further example in the film industry of success in the late stages of a long career. Jessica Tandy was awarded the Oscar for the best actress in the film ‘Driving Miss Daisy’. At the time of the award she was over 80.

An advantage of advanced age is a healthy disrespect for previous constraints. Arthur Rubenstein lived to 95 and played in concerts throughout his 80s. At the end of his career he enjoyed increased freedom as he no longer felt restricted by the opinions of critics and others and had reached a position of financial security which led to new adventures in music.

Posted by Carol Hudgens - March 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm