Meet the artist and the writer behind exhibition highlighting older St. Louis women 

In August, Editor-in-Chief Ellen Futterman wrote about “Her Self,” an exhibition at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild by photographer Marian Brickner and writer Susan Fadem. The exhibition featured Brickner’s photographs of 57 older St. Louis women, which were paired with a “word portrait” about each written by Fadem.

Now, the Mirowitz Center is offering the community a chance to take part in a Zoom discussion with Brickner and Fadem (and moderated by Futterman), set for 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21. The discussion is free and open to the community, but registration is required online at or by calling 314-733-9813 or via email to [email protected]

Brickner, 84, is a photographer best known for her animal photography, who lives in the Central West End and describes herself as a “nonpracticing Jew.” Futterman’s story details how the project came to be:

The genesis of the project came about four years ago after Brickner photographed roughly 50 older nuns at the Sarah Community, which is a faith-based, long-term care and retirement community in Bridgeton. It was begun through the collaboration of five Catholic religious congregations of women.

“Time went on, and I wanted more old women to photograph,” Brickner said, laughing. “I’d keep asking people when I would meet them in the park, ‘Do you know any old people, women?’”

Fadem, who is also Jewish, become friends with Brickner in 2011 after moving to the Central West End. She ran into Brickner at Schlafly Branch library, where Brickner was discussing her latest book. From Futterman’s story:

“We got to talking and I said, ‘You would make a good story.’ And we’ve been friends ever since,” said Fadem, who wrote about Brickner for the Jewish Light in 2017. 

“When Marian told me what she was doing, I said, you can’t get together this group of women without interviewing them. There is a repository of wisdom here.”

Fadem spent from five to 35 minutes interviewing each woman before or after Brickner took her picture. 

Brickner explained that her goal is always the same: to illustrate individualism. She photographed the women at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild in 2019. She prepared for the shoots by visiting the space several times to gauge the natural light at different times of day and decide where to place the chair for each portrait session.

Click here to read Futterman’s August story or here for details about the Mirowitz Center’s Zoom event.