"Women of My Age," by Marian Seid Rubin, contains images of women that are poignant and entirely self-sufficient. However, Ms. Rubin has included conversations she conducted with the subjects of her photographs, compiled over a period of many years, that provide unusual and sometimes heartbreaking details about her subjects' lives.
The idea and motivation for the book are described by the author in the opening pages. Seeing a director's chair with the words "Tom's Wife" on the canvas back support, Ms. Rubin wondered about the woman who had no name and seemingly no persona apart from her marriage to "her man." Although a seemingly insignificant detail that many would have never given a second thought or even noticed, the implications of those two words resonated with the photographer/author and we are enriched by her quest for understanding.
An artistic endeavor that spans so many years in its creation, has to be integral to the life of its creator, not just in terms of time passed, but in the way living with an idea changes both the original concept and the one who conceived it. The issues of personal identity and self-worth are central to all our lives, whether we are young or old, woman or man. We cannot help but be struck with how dignified these women are and how courageous they have been to let themselves be seen at their most vulnerable. And we should all be grateful that someone of Ms. Rubin's skill with a camera has been matched by her compassion and empathy. One need only compare her subjects' genuine human dignity to the mass media's promoting of hollow personalities to understand the true value of Ms. Rubin's contribution."