' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Ken Robbins: A photographic tribute to my friend

Friday, March 10, 2017

Ken Robbins: A photographic tribute to my friend

                                                 All photos by Ken Robbins
Ken Robbins, a friend of mine, died in the night the day before yesterday. He was a great photographer, and a generous, wise, intelligent man who will be missed by his friends. His photos were collected in two books; he did the pictures for numerous book jackets, LP albums, and magazine covers, including for Time; took author photographs, and wrote more than 20 children's books he illustrated with his pictures. He was a brilliant mind, and conversation with him might range from philosophy to politics to pop culture. Whatever the subject, his observations were sharp and sometimes challenging, as he relished lively discourse.

For the last couple of years, he was on dialysis and lately had an infection that he could not shake. At the same time, he was caring for his wife, who has advanced dementia, at home with limited help. We all knew his life was difficult, but Ken kept a positive attitude about everything and never appeared to feel sorry for his lot.

This isn't a usual post for First Mother Forum, but I wanted to share some of his photos here as he let me use them for the blog whenever I asked. This is a tribute to Ken and his talent.

Self portrait of Ken Robbins
So today I am simply posting some of his stunning, evocative and mysterious photos for everyone to enjoy--the ones we've used here--and others to show how his style evolved. He photographed the Hamptons at their best, and then hand colored, and later digitally enhanced the pictures. They hang in many houses in the Hamptons where we live--as he did--and the scenery is gorgeous. He found the way to make us see in a new way what is before us. We are fortunate enough to have several of his pictures, gifts of the artist. My husband, Anthony Brandt, wrote the copy for two of his books. Ken also took the shot of me that I frequently used at the blog last year, as well as my author photo for my memoir, hole in my heart.
Gardiner's Island
                        *  *  *
On another note, my husband and I are moving in the next two months to another house in the same village. We've been in the same home since 1983, a Mission Style dwelling built in 1930. It's time for us to move to a house that needs less care. We are nostalgic about leaving our home, which we have enjoyed, but are looking forward to cleaning out remnants of our past that have become cumbersome, and moving forward to a new--less cluttered--life. In an odd twist of real estate, our new house--a mile away from our current home--is actually larger, but requires less upkeep! However, the move itself means that I will be posting less in the coming months.

I hope you enjoy Ken's photos. Please excuse some of the black lines below his photos--my limited technical ability is showing!

For more of Ken's photos, find them at http://www.krobbinsphoto.com.

Comments welcome.--lorraine

PS: Click on the still life of the lily and you are taken to that suite of his work.

Taken at our 25 anniversary party.

From his amazing collection of still lives

The Private Sea

My father gave me that scale. Decades later it became a book jacket photo. I'm keeping the scale when we move. 


The Ill-kept Secret

Salt Marsh, Accabonac
Dragger and Clouds
Dragger and Clouds.psd
Moonstruck Floral

and Swan Mother (below)
Swan Mother.psd
Moonstruck Floral (Tulips).psd


  1. Lorraine, thanks for this! A reminder to us that we lost a friend and an artist!

  2. Oh, Lorraine, these are breath-taking....I'll go to his site tonight or tomorrow, and come back here and bask in the the beauty he has captured.

    Salt Marsh and Gardiner's Island are my favorites after the one of you two at your anniversary ....

  3. Lorraine
    Thanks for posting these wonderful and evocative pictures. Ken was very special to a lot of people, including Denise and I -- and although we saw them less than occasionally once we moved away 25 years ago, the pictures of his on our walls are uplifting reminders of fabulous times with friends like you guys, Ken and Maria that we cherish. May he Rest In Peace.
    Peter & Denise

  4. I already miss having Ken in the world. He was a brilliant artist, he had a sharp mind, he was a wonderful friend. We had many lunches together, and the conversation was always interesting. Goodbye old friend.
    You leave us too soon.

  5. Lorraine: What you wrote and showed is extraordinarily moving and eloquent. Combining
    your words with the different stages of Ken's remarkable work does this truly brilliant and
    unique person real justice. There couldn't be a better memorial. Thanks! Rog

  6. I am so sorry for your loss, Lorraine. He was an amazing talent, and now beautiful it is that his life will live on in his photographs!

  7. I am sorry for the loss of your friend. Thanks for sharing his amazing and be beautiful photographs. What a loss to those who knew him, and to the world.

  8. What a beautiful tribute. And such stunning and philosophically inspiring photos. Thanks for sharing his art and that part of you life.

  9. My heart goes out to you in your loss. From these examples, he was a very gifted artist. May your heart ease in time over this loss.

  10. How wonderful, Lorraine, that you honored your friend in this way. I am sad because I feel that people like Ken Robbins should never die and should keep on creating for benefit of the world. Hugs to you,


  11. I'm so sorry for your loss Lorraine and Anthony.

  12. Thanks for a lovely tribute to Ken Robbins. I knew and admired his photos, but knew nothing about him. May his memory--and his work!--endure as a blessing. May you and Anthony be comforted among all who mourn.



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