The Rooms They Left Behind
December 27, 2016 7:09 AM   Subscribe

Quiet Places: After the deaths of these 10 notable people, The New York Times photographed their private spaces — as they left them. (Mitch Epstein, NYT) [via]
posted by Think_Long (14 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Wow. Thank you for posting this.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 7:18 AM on December 27, 2016

Prince's room was everything I could have hoped for, and more.
posted by tybstar at 7:32 AM on December 27, 2016 [7 favorites]

The pictures, especially of the offices have the feel of, as a member of the audience, happening to see the sets backstage, fully lit, with no actors in the building, but with the vague hope they'll be on stage again momentarily, but with the sense that we're seeing something we're not supposed, that we've intruded somewhere private.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:52 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

everyone was very clean!

my room would have clothes all over the floor and the bed not made and about 5 different glasses around with varying amounts of wine, liquor, water, tea, and coffee.
posted by sio42 at 8:02 AM on December 27, 2016 [9 favorites]

everyone was very clean!

Other than maybe Dial's, I suspect these spaces have been tidied for posterity.
posted by pracowity at 8:10 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wow. Janet Reno's bedroom was probably the most intimate look into the person, out of all the images.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:22 AM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]

I wonder about this photo essay, and wondering about my friends losing studios to video game companies or sharing a studio with five or six people, and whose paintings are smaller and sculptures are less monunmental, or about Alice Munro or Shirley Jackson writing stories while her children slept, and thot about where I wrote/made art this year (cafes, church halls, spare rooms, my own small room, libraries) and thot that it is a kind of mark of privlege to have a dedicated working spaces--no matter how moved i am by Epstein's aide memoire. (Epstein is a really vital photog and i like his work. )
posted by PinkMoose at 8:58 AM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

This is quite extraordinary. Thank you.
posted by gwint at 9:19 AM on December 27, 2016

Reno's mother was spectacular:
Jane Reno, born in Georgia, was an eccentric naturalist who would have a profound effect on Ms. Reno.

“Outspoken, outrageous, absolutely indifferent to others’ opinions, Jane Reno was truly one of a kind,” Paul Anderson, a former Miami Herald reporter, wrote in his biography of Janet Reno. It was her mother who had wrestled small alligators, though the stunt was sometimes erroneously ascribed to the daughter.

Ms. Reno, the eldest of four siblings, was about 8 when her parents bought 21 acres bordering the Everglades and moved there. Her mother, who had no construction experience, built the family home. “She dug the foundation with her own hands, with a pick and shovel,” Ms. Reno told senators at her confirmation hearing in 1993.
posted by pracowity at 9:30 AM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]

it is a kind of mark of privlege to have a dedicated working space

Also to be profiled in the NYT. These individuals, memorialized, act as avatars for the greater endeavors of the rest of us, saying in effect that art, scholarship and dedication are noteworthy and valuable to humanity.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:47 AM on December 27, 2016 [7 favorites]

Somebody else needs to make an obit for Princess Leia. I'm going offline for a while.
posted by infini at 10:03 AM on December 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

I did mention Alice Munro and Shirley Jackson, two writers who made fantastic art without a dedicated working space, due to gender.
posted by PinkMoose at 10:15 AM on December 27, 2016

Munro's had several of her stories made into movies, at this point. If a picture were taken of her current working space, at the end of her long and distinguished career, I'm pretty sure she can spring for her own desk. Probably has a shelf up to put the Nobel on, at any rate.

The photo essay is a brief reflection on the ripples people made in the world, the void carved in space that hangs still for a few brief moments after they've passed. Seems more than a little wrenching and grasping to look on that evanescence and feel merely covetousness. Life's more than a crab bucket.
posted by Diablevert at 12:03 PM on December 27, 2016 [3 favorites]

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