In her acclaimed The History of White People, Painter explored the myriad ramifications of the socio-political construction of race. In her new book she turns from history to memoir to give a similarly insightful and thought-provoking look at gender, aging, and art. This engaging narrative begins with Painter retiring from Princeton and earning BFA and MFA degrees in painting. The oldest in her classes, Painter finds her craft-centered approach to art differs from that of the DIY aesthetic of her classmates. Reflecting on other generational, racial, and gender differences in the practice and consumption of art, Painter considers wider questions of beauty, value, and difference and asks what, ultimately, it means to be an artist, and who it is that defines “artist.”
Painter will be in conversation with A'Lelia Bundles, former DC deputy bureau chief at ABC News and chairman of the board of the National Archives Foundation from 2011 to 2017.