Anne Taintor

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Anne Taintor
Anne Marie Taintor

(1953-08-16) August 16, 1953 (age 66)
Alma materHarvard University

Anne Taintor (born August 16, 1953) is an artist whose themes deal with domestic stereotypes, as viewed through the lens of mid-century advertisements typically found in publications such as Ladies Home Journal and Life. Juxtaposing these images with tongue-in-cheek captions, her work serves as a commentary on the stereotypes of women popularized in the 1940s and 1950s. She has been credited by some as being a pioneer in the pairing of mid-century imagery with modern slogans.[1][2]

Biography and work[edit]

Taintor was born in 1953 in Lewiston, Maine to Frederick G. and Jane S. Taintor. Her father was a lawyer and her mother was a law school graduate turned housewife. She is the second of five children and lives in Portland, Maine, having returned to her home state after spending 11 years in New Mexico.[3]

After graduating from Lewiston High School in 1971, Taintor attended Harvard University, from which she graduated in 1977 with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies.[1] As a student she enrolled in a class on collage animation, which would become her technique of choice.[2] Upon leaving Harvard, she eventually moved back to Maine working, among other things, as a cartographer drawing maps for state atlases. She continued to collage, selling her works at local craft fairs.[4]

In the early 1980s, Anne bounced around in different jobs, including as a waitress and a seamstress, while also working her way through a divorce.[5] At that time, she began focusing more on creating and selling her collages as a way to support herself and her daughter.[3] Her first products were handmade wooden lapel pins and earrings[3] with collage artwork, which she created by cutting and pasting artwork from 1940s and 1950s advertisements.[4]

Anne Taintor, Inc.[edit]

In 1985, while at a garage sale in South Portland, Maine, Taintor came across an old Ladies Home Journal, which prompted her to begin creating what would become her signature work.[4][6] Her first piece of this kind, Intellectuals Gone Bad, was sold at the Maine Festival, an annual performance and crafts fair held in Portland, Maine, and featured an image of a woman and a man mixed with the caption "intellectuals gone bad". It was well received and, soon after, she started Anne Taintor, Inc.[1]

Celebrating her 25th anniversary in 2010, Taintor's work is available on her personal website and in thousands of retail locations across 25 countries.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Profile - Anne Taintor". The Maine Mag.
  2. ^ a b Kessler, Media (2010). "The Queen of Cut And Paste". 360 West Magazine (January 2010).
  3. ^ a b c Garfield, Henry. "MOGUL-Anne Taintor". Archived from the original on 2013-01-28.
  4. ^ a b c Burnham, Emily. "The Not Quite Perfect Housewife". The Bangor Daily News.
  5. ^ Roberts, Kathaleen. "Making Funny Captions Turns Into a Business". Albuquerque Journal.
  6. ^ Skelton, Kathryn. "Anne Taintor: Retro Wit, Lewiston Roots". Sun Journal.