The current cover of The Gerontologist features a musician at the local Octoberfest, a yearly block party that celebrates the German immigrant heritage of my neighborhood in Manhattan that is now only a memory. TG is the flagship journal of the Gerontological Society of America, the nation's oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. Looking back at two decades of covers that I provided to TG, art and music have been a constant theme that captivated me as I visually explored the topic of aging. I view it as spice that adds meaning and purpose to growing old. In this post I look back and show this side of my portfolio of covers.
Edith O'Hara was founder of the Thirteenth Street Theater, an Off-Broadway performance space in Greenwich Village. I photographed her on my way to make rounds at St. Vincents Hospital, a New York City institution which closed in 2010. As a doctor in this neighborhood, I had the opportunity to care for many of the elderly artists and performers who once inhabited this now chic and gentrified part of Manhattan.
Mr Quiztow was an itinerant musician who spent summers playing on the streets of Cape Cod. He entertained small crowds with his keyboard. I photographed him in Provincetown in 2002.
Art and music are expressions of creativity, skill, and imagination that persist and even flourish in old age. They nourish the human spirit, facilitating connections with others that are essential components of successful aging. I have tried to convey this through my work on the covers of The Gerontologist.