Mary Delany was one amazing woman. She lived in England during the 1700s, and in the course of her 88 years she was a gardener, painter, naturalist, art collector, and friend to the likes of Jonathan Swift and George Frederick Handel. At the age of 72 she took up a new art form – paper collage. The image above is made entirely of cut paper.
She crafted nearly a thousand of these beautiful collages in the final years of her life, all depicting real plants and flowers. They say she carried paper and scissors wherever she went.
Mary Delany is the subject of a new exhibit entitled “Mary Delany and Her Circle” on view at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven through January 3, 2010. For anyone who thinks it’s too late in life to try something new, she is quite an inspiration.
Here is a link to a more detailed review of the exhibit at the New York Times blog.