Art Cart: Cherishing the Legacy

Art Cart: Cherishing the Legacy is the culminating exhibition of a larger project documenting the work of older artists while providing participating students of health, aging, and the arts an unparalleled learning experience. 

Created by the Research Center for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging, this two-site exhibition features nine Washington D.C. and ten New York City artists, ages 63-100, whose media include drawing, painting, quilting, installation art, photography, and sculpture. The artists represent a living history of America and their stories reflect periods of great growth and change like the term of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Civil Rights Movement, and the Women’s Movement. All of the included works have been organized, labeled, and documented with the help of two students and a documentation partner and records have been archived at Columbia University’s open source archive, Academic Commons.

The exhibition includes a selection of works that the artists, their working partners and student fellows documented in the last year, as well as a composite of their oral histories and the launch of a new documentary, “Living the Legacy.” 

The exhibition grew out of a research study entitled “Above Ground: Information on Artists III,” that was conducted by the Research Center for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging. The study revealed that artists are in many respects a model for society, maintaining strong social networks and an astonishing resilience as they age. Yet 61% of professional visual artists age 62 and older have made no preparation for their work after their death; 95% have not archived their work; 97% have no estate plan; three out of four artists have no will; and one in five has no documentation of his or her work at all.

This celebration of the resilience and tenacity of people who have spent a lifetime making art is a testament to creative aging and learning.

For more information on the Artists in the exhibition, please visit their individual websites:

Akili Ron Anderson:

Lila Oliver Asher:

Marilyn Banner:


James Brown Jr

Lilian Thomas Burwell:

Rose Mosner:

Marilee Shapiro: (gallery site)

Carmen Torruella Quander:

Ann Zahn:


Lila Oliver Asher, Cup of Milk, 1989, Linolium Block Print