Empire Brothels

Bobbies Buckeye Bar, Pink Hot Tub, 2015

CEPA Gallery's 13th Biennial Art Auction takes place on Saturday, April 9, 2016 at the Market Arcade Building in downtown Buffalo’s Theatre District. Garnering significant recognition over the past 20 years, CEPA’s biennial auction is the only professional art auction in Western New York, and one of Buffalo’s most glamorous and festive art events.

My donation to the auction is, " Bobbies Buckeye Bar, Pink Hot Tub, 2015". It is archivally printed on a metallic pearl paper. The piece is from an ongoing series I have been working on in the deserts of California, Nevada, and Utah.

Mary "Bobbie" Duncan Himes was born June 25, 1915, in Billings, Montana. She owned and operated the Buckeye Bar and Brothel in Tonopah, Nevada from 1941 until her death in 1989. She is buried in the Tonopah cemetery. Clarita Fazzari owned and operated the Buckeye after Bobbie died, however, the bar closed in the late 1990s when she was denied a brothel license renewal.

Representative of many of Nevada’s brothels, the structure of Bobbie’s Buckeye is comprised of groups of camping trailers and double-wides assembled together in the hills just outside of town. The pink hot tub is located in a section of the compound adjacent to the bar. The photograph is from a series exploring the closed and abandoned brothels throughout the state.

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