Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Late-Life Creativity

Martin S. Lindauer wrote in the preface to his book, Aging, Creativity, and Art: A Positive Perspective on Late-Life Development, that he looked in the mirror on his 40th birthday and thought that his productive life was over. He believed, because of everything he had read as a student, and later as a professor of psychology, that "the best predictor of adult creativity, according to a great deal of scientific evidence, is youthful precocity." If he hadn't achieved anything he considered worthwhile by 40, what was the point of trying?

But he took an art class in his 50s. Unhappy with what he'd produced in one of the classes, his teacher told him that there was always tomorrow. A platitude, to be sure, but it led him to research and gather data about late-life creativity. And to prove that the "experts" he'd been reading all those years were wrong.

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