Respecting My Elders: Age and the Creative Spirit is a collection of color portraits of creative persons over the age of eighty, photographed in their home and studios. They are the artists and intellectuals of my parents’ generation, whose wisdom and insight are important to our nation. Known as “The Greatest Generation”, and coming of age between the two World Wars, the effect of their contributions upon future generations is evident in their cultural legacies. These include books, poems, paintings, photographs, plays and performances, as well as important breakthroughs in education, philanthropy and the sciences. As these persons enter the last phase of long and productive lives, I believe they deserve to be celebrated. My photographs are meant to capture their spirit and beauty, and to inspire admiration by future generations.
These photographs were made between 2009 and 2012. Of the people pictured here, more than half have passed away since we met.This is the downside of such a project, but the upside of remembrance.
All photographs © Ellen Wallenstein, "Respecting My Elders".