Folk Art and Aging

Folk Art and Aging : Life-Story Objects and Their Makers

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Growing old doesn't have to be seen as an eventual failure but rather as an important developmental stage of creativity. Offering an absorbing and fresh perspective on aging and crafts, Jon Kay explores how elders choose to tap into their creative and personal potential through making life-story objects. Carving, painting, and rug hooking not only help seniors to cope with the ailments of aging and loneliness but also to achieve greater satisfaction with their lives. Whether revived from childhood memories or inspired by their capacity to connect to others, meaningful memory projects serve as a lens for focusing on, remaking, and sharing the long-ago. These activities often help elders productively fill the hours after they have raised their children, retired from their jobs, and/or lost a loved one. These individuals forge new identities for themselves that do not erase their earlier lives but build on them and new lives that include sharing scenes and stories from their more

Product details

  • Hardback | 148 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 14.22mm | 439.98g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 41 color illus.
  • 0253022061
  • 9780253022066

Review quote

All too often, aging is regarded merely as an end-of-life period, and therefore those within that age-defined category are often treated in a somewhat condescending manner, as if lumped into one clinical entity, with similar needs and aspirations. Kay presents case studies which clearly stand as counter to such narrow thinking and generalizations regarding seniors and their abilities to interact in, and contribute to, their communities and society. Drawing on case studies of five well-chosen Indiana artisans-wood sculptor, rag-rug weaver, musical instrument maker, painter, and maker of wood canes-Kay offers a thoughtful, revealing meditation on the relationship between aging and art making. . . . Highly recommended. * Choice Reviews *show more

About Jon Kay

Jon Kay is Professor of Practice and Director of Traditional Arts Indiana in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at Indiana University more

Table of contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Folk Art and Aging1. Bob Taylor: Stories in Wood and Words2. Gustav Potthoff: Memory Paintings3. Marian Sykes: Recalling Memories and Making Rugs4. John Schoolman: Objects, Life Review, and Sociability5. Milan Opacich: Life-Story Displays and NarrativesConclusion: Life-Story Objects and Aging in IndianaBibliographyIndexshow more