Ann Stewart was the wonderfully effective second executive director—after me—of the Kentucky Foundation for Women, where she combined empathy for women artists with a practical grasp of what it takes to run a grants-giving not-for-profit, empathy and toughness combined.
Having met Judy Chicago when Judy and her collective were creating The Dinner Party, Ann Stewart put together a team of women to create a sewn major work called The Hot Flash Fan, celebrating menopause. As I remember, tampons were included in the design. It has looked for a permanent home for years, having been shown at intervals; I think in time it will find its roost as The Dinner Party, after decades, found its place in a wing devoted to Feminist Art in the Brooklyn Museum, thanks to Elizabeth Sackler.
So it is in line with her fresh vision that she has devoted the past few years to creating a series of portraits called Wonderful Old Women. Many are mosaics, constructed out of bits of broken pottery. They combine the humor and wisdom that we as a culture are beginning to recognize as an aspect of women’s aging, perhaps our major contribution to the world around us.
Good-speed, Ann Stewart. You will find materials and inspiration where-ever you go to continue your vital work, and surely your final wish will be granted: to complete the last in the series of Wonderful Old Women.