E. Brady Robinson Captures Desks of Art World's Elite


Copies of Art Desks by E. Brady Robinson.  Image courtesy of the artist.

Copies of Art Desks by E. Brady Robinson. Image courtesy of the artist.

Even with a beautifully lit bay window desk space, E. Brady Robinson says that she prefers to work at her dining room table when sifting through the great number of photos she has to edit that day. Her desire to share the desks of the art world’s elite might stem from not using her own. Robinson’s Art Desks officially launched November 1 at Addison Ripley Fine Art with a book signing and represents the culmination of a three year journey of documenting the intimate space of notable art world figures.

The book includes only 57 desks from over 200 that Robinson photographed, featuring those of Mera Rubell, Katherine Hinds, Jay Flynn, David C. Ward, and many more. Although she feels that the book is the greatest representation of the project and that she was able to really share the spaces of many art world icons, there may have been one that got away. She shares that a scheduling conflict prevented her from capturing the desk of Juan Roselione-Valadez, director of the Rubell Collection. Perhaps he will be included in book two? Probably not says Robinson. A second book is not likely. Instead she would like to create a digital version, an archive, where she can present the larger body of work to the general public. This would certainly be a way to bring her project to the digital age, but there are no concrete plans for this yet.

The desk of Jay Flynn.  Image courtesy E. Brady Robinson.

The desk of Jay Flynn. Image courtesy E. Brady Robinson.

Where does one go after publishing their first book? Robinson will dig even deeper for her second publication Tanto Tiempo, a documentation of her many travels and personal moments. Local design and publishing firm, Empty Stretch, will print Tanto Tiempo as a digital magazine. The publication will be a more personal, printed documentary view into Robinson’s world. With images from airplanes and personal trips from around the globe, it is a visual juxtaposition of the different angles of her world. Robinson says that it will represent her life and experiences poetically. Hoping to build a new collector base and present her work to a different audience, Robinson will travel to the LA Art Book Fair in April 2015 to present and sell Tanto Tiempo.

Robinson’s view of the world and the philosophy of her work relates across both of her publications. What she truly enjoys as a photographer and what is perhaps more clear in Art Desks, is the way she captures the world as a bystander, from the outside looking in. For Art Desks, although it was a purposeful invasion of someone’s space, she enjoys the end result of the captured scenes, as if she wasn’t supposed to be there. In many ways she can be qualified as a documentary photographer, of both her life and that of those around her. She calls to mind a quote from Henri Cartier-Bresson to put “one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis,” a constant reminder of what she is trying to accomplish in her work.

For more information on E. Brady Robinson, her work or to purchase Art Desks, visit her website –


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Elizabeth Carberry
Authored by: Elizabeth Carberry

Elizabeth Carberry is the founder and creative operations director of ArtSee, an arts management agency. Inspired by art in all its forms, Elizabeth’s passion for art and culture began as a child living in Milan, Italy, surrounded by the works of the great artists and has thrived in the Washington, DC community​. Elizabeth’s vision of ArtSee incorporates her three great loves: communications, curating, and art. Through ArtSee, artists and art enthusiasts will find an advocate and ally in its founder. Visit for more information..