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The J Paul Getty Museum

He Can No Longer at the Age of Ninety-Eight, Francisco de Goya, Spanish, about 1819-23. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Big debuts make headlines, sell art, and often change the culture. Michelangelo sculpted the David before he turned 30, John Keats died at 25, and Mozart was composing by age 5. But creative men and women, from J. M. W. Turner and Paul Cézanne to Philip Roth and George Eliot, often produce their greatest work after middle age. Is experience—in life, in art, in love, and loss—necessary to create works that stand the test of time? Does it take decades for artists' visions to mature, and does that allow them to see the world in new, even richer, ways? Or, when it comes to creativity and innovation, is age merely a number?

In conjunction with the exhibition J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free, featuring works produced by the famed English painter after his 60th birthday, muralist Judithe Hernández, artistCharles Garabedian, and musicologist Karen Painter, editor of Late Thoughts: Reflections on Artists and Composers at Work, join Mike Boehm, arts reporter for the Los Angeles Timesto discuss the relationship between age and artistic greatness.