Imagine beginning your life's work at age 72. In the 1770's, Mary Delaney invented the medium we now call collage. Her collection of botanically-correct floral collages is today housed in the British Museum. Poet Molly Peacock fell in love with the work and the artist and has written a meditation on both and on late-life creativity.
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A Woman Becomes An Artist in her Eighth Decade
[Adapted from Chapter One]
Imagine starting your life's work at seventy-two. At just that age, Mary Granville Pendarves Delany (May 14, 1700-April 15, 1788), a fan of George Frideric Handel, a sometime dinner partner of satirist Jonathan Swift, a wearer of green-hooped satin gowns, and a fiercely devoted subject of blond King George III, invented a precursor of what we know as collage.