Art Exhibition | Ellen Warner | The Second Half: Forty Women Reveal Life After Fifty

On View September 30 - October 29, 2022

woman shamen

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Ellen Warner - Luisa Teish, Shamen, San Francisco, California

Ellen Warner | The Second Half: Forty Women Reveal Life After Fifty

On View September 30 - October 29, 2022

Artist Talk, Book Signing, and Opening Reception with Ellen Warner: September 29, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Over the course of 15 years, Ellen Warner interviewed and photographed women from different cultures about life after age 50  from an author and translator in Connecticut to a sacred healer in Indonesia, a doctor in Saudi Arabia, a retired cook in Antigua, and the first French woman TV anchor.

The Second Half presents Warner’s analog black and white photographs accompanied by excerpts of the women’s interviews. Intimate and frank, Warner’s portraits reflect the aesthetics, traditions, and landscapes of their subjects’ environments —gnarled apple trees, bookshelves, gilded mirrors, stucco city blocks — and the histories they hold. Spanning decades and cultures, Warner’s portraits and interviews celebrate the wisdom, resiliency, and joy of women in their second half of life. 

The exhibition is presented by the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis, with co-sponsorship by the Brandeis University Press.

Ellen Warner began her career as a photojournalist in 1969 and has photographed all over the world since then, except for fifteen years when her children were young. In 1997 she started writing travel articles to accompany her photographs. Warner’s travel articles have been published in The New York Times, Travel and Leisure, and The Traveller. Over the years Warner also developed a specialty in author portraits and has worked for most publishing houses in New York and London. Since 2006, she has worked on “The Second Half.”

The Second Half: Forty Women Reveal Life After Fifty (Brandeis University Press, 2022) explores, in photographic portraits and interviews, how the second half of life is experienced by women from many different cultures. From a French actress to a British novelist, from an Algerian nomad to a Saudi Arabian doctor, and an American politician, Ellen Warner traveled all over the world to interview women about their lives. She asked them what they learned in the first half that was helpful in the second, and what advice they would give to younger women.

Copies of The Second Half: Forty Women Reveal Life After Fifty will be available for purchase at the opening reception on Thursday, September 29.

Collaborating Events:

On Women and Aging: A Panel Discussion with Margaret M. Gullette, WSRC Resident Scholar, Sarah Lamb, Brandeis Barbara Mandel Professor of Humanistic Social Sciences and Professor of Anthropology and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis, and sculptor Nancy Schön.  Moderated by Harleen Singh, Director of the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center and Senior Associate Provost for Faculty and Global Affairs.  October 12, 5:00pm at the WSRC

In Conversation: Photojournalist and author Ellen Warner and Judy Norsigian, author and co-founder of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Moderated by Bernadette Brooten,  Myra and Robert Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Professor Christian Studies, Emerita, Brandeis University.  October 27, 7:00pm at the WSRC