Winthrop Kellogg Edey: the man who collected time

ID_PI_GOLBE_WATCH_CO_006Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set:

You’ve heard the phrase, “a man out of step with his time.” We use it to talk about a man that should have existed in another era as, for instance, a man with Victorian sensibilities who happens to live in the present day. But we also use the phrase to talk about a man who exists outside of time altogether. Winthrop K. Edey was such a man. He was hyper-punctual but highly anachronistic. Untimely. The qualities were two sides of the same coin. “Mr. Edey… favored old-fashioned fountain pens over ballpoints and maintained his town house in such 19th century purity that it still has its original working gas jets, tapestries, stove, and marble-slab kitchen table,” said The New York Times. When Edey wanted to take a snapshot he “would lug a huge wooden turn-of-the-century view camera complete with tripod and 11-by-14-inch glass plates” out into the streets. It was a lifestyle of a man living just to the side of time. And the more punctual Edey made his life, the more he arranged time according to his individual whim, the less he was part of the ordinary world. He was like a monk except that a monk arranges his life around a schedule that he does not choose. Winthrop K. Edey’s time was solely his own — or, at least, he tried to make it so. Orson Welles once said that an artist is always out of step with time. This truth is both the beauty and melancholy of the artist. Winthrop K. Edey was an artist of time. He was thus a man destined to be not merely out of step with time, but dislocated in it.

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