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A Drawing by Myerhoff's Mother, Florence Siegal

A Drawing by Myerhoff's Mother, Florence Siegal

"Many years ago when my mother was first studying drawing she drew old people over and over; and when I look at these pictures I understand why I got into the work in which I have found myself My mother found in them the folds, wrinkles, bags, pouches, and angles that were characteristic of aging physiology and physiognomy. She rendered them with a love of line that made the subjects attractive and interesting; ultimately they aroused affection and understanding.

"I begin to comprehend more and more how essential it is that we be given authentic, arresting images of the elderly, how our society contrives to withhold this, giving us nothing, degradation or sentimentality. We are not taught to see the elderly. They become invisible to us and ultimately to themselves. Without positive (in the sense of strong and accurate) images, our future (seen in their bodies and faces) holds despair and losses."

Notes:


1. Quote from Barbara Myerhoff, "Re-membered Lives," Parabola, 5.1 (1980) 74.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "A Drawing by Myerhoff's Mother, Florence Siegal." (Viewed on April 16, 2014) <http://jwa.org/media/drawing-by-myerhoffs-mother-florence-siegal>.