100+ Sculptor Marilee Shapiro Asher (updated)

Update on Marilee Shapiro Asher, who is now 107 and the survivor of TWO pandemics!

This incredible woman — artist, author, photographer, sculptor, therapist, mother, wife — conquered the 1918 flu pandemic, when she was 6 years old.

Petula Dvorak, The Washington Post

Asher is one of the oldest survivors of COVID-19. At one point the doctor’s told her family she had less than 12 hours to live. She wasn’t having any of that! The fighter is hoping to get back to her art soon.

Read more about her story on the Washington Post article by Petula Dvorak.

“I Had to Be Selfish to Keep Making Art” Says Sculptor

103 Year old Sculptor Marilee Shapiro Asher reads from her autobiography, “Dancing in the Wonder for 102 Years”

Marilee Shapiro Asher, who turned 103 this year, was introduced to contemporary sculpture in 1936. She had her first one woman show in 1947.

The artist claims she had to be selfish in order to be an artist. She worked when it was uncommon for women, especially mothers to do so.

When asked if she would rather have done something other than be an artist, she reflects and replies, “I think not.”

In the studio with an on-going project in which I am absorbed, time does not exist

The creative process is a struggle. It involves all of one’s attention and intuitive powers. This struggle, pursuit of a vision or an idea is what I have always loved to do.

Marilee Shapiro Asher sculptureWhile she still creates some sculptures, at 88 years old (that was fifteen years ago), she accepted that she needed to work with smaller and lighter pieces.

That is when she enrolled in a class on digital photography at the Corcoran. There, amidst her 20-somethings classmates she learned to use a computer and Photoshop. She even learned to create a website. At 88!

She is currently working on a lot of color photography. Tackling a new frontier.

I’ve always been afraid of color,” she said. “So I’m working on that right now.

Thank you, Marilee, for being an inspiration to artists and other mere mortals. May we continue to tackle new frontiers, alter our medium when needed or simply desired. To express. To be absorbed in our studios.

I have no personal philosophy of art, I do it because there is nothing else I would rather be doing

Thanks to Petula Dvorak of the Washington Post for the original story which can be read here.

Marilee Shapiro Asher’s work can be seen here