wrinkles in time

What Aging Gracefully Looks Like After 100

A series investigating the effects of gravity on the female form.

In the new book Aging Gracefully, photographer Karsten Thormaehlen shot 52 portraits of men and women over 100 years old. The project took him to four continents, from Munich to New York to Tokyo. “It’s not a book on death or almost-death,” he told the Cut. “It’s a book on the power and beauty of life.”

Each photo is accompanied by a short caption describing the centenarian, but Thormaehlen emphasized he wants viewers to focus on his subjects’ features. “Look more into the face and interpret it through the lines of the face, the eyes,” he said.

The ten women shown here live all over the world, including New York, France, Peru, and Ecuador. (Fun fact: Women consistently outrank men on lists of “oldest people in the world” — of the 44 oldest people in the world right now, 43 of them are women.) Click ahead to preview the book, out March 7 from Chronicle Books.

Aging Gracefully: Portraits of People Over 100
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Photo: Karsten Thormaehlen/Karsten Thormaehlen (photographer)

Kiyo Aragai

Born September 10, 1914, in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Japan.

Photo: Karsten Thormaehlen/Karsten Thormaehlen (photographer)

María Teresa Bolivar vda de Lercari

Born July 4, 1913, in Lima, Peru.

Photo: Karsten Thormaehlen/Karsten Thormaehlen (photographer)

Betty Markoff

Born August 26, 1916, in Toronto, Canada.

Photo: Karsten Thormaehlen/Karsten Thormaehlen (photographer)

Olivia Hooker

Born February 12, 1915, in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Photo: Karsten Thormaehlen/Karsten Thormaehlen (photographer)

Paula Klambauer

Born April 19, 1912, in Wels, Austria.

Photo: Karsten Thormaehlen

Maria Luisa Medina

Born April 8, 1913, in Loja, Ecuador.

Photo: Karsten Thormaehlen/Karsten Thormaehlen (photographer)

Evelyn Zehring

Born September 21, 1914, in Fairfield, Montana. 

Photo: Karsten Thormaehlen/Karsten Thormaehlen (photographer)

Miyagui Kami

Born August 25, 1916, in Ōgimi, Japan.

Photo: Karsten Thormaehlen/Karsten Thormaehlen (photographer)

Kimiyo Sato

Born October 28, 1912, in Nagasaki, Japan.

Photo: Karsten Thormaehlen

Gisele Casadesus

Born June 14, 1914, in Paris, France.

What Aging Gracefully Looks Like After 100