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Robert R McGinley

Robert R McGinley

Robert McGinley is a photographic artist interested in the documentation of natural locations that are threatened by development. He seeks to preserve these habitats for future generations through his work.

With a B.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, McGinley began his career as a filmmaker. He wrote and directed feature films, including “Jimmy Zip,” which won Best Dramatic Feature Film at the 1999 Hollywood Film Festival, among other awards. However, his interest in land protection and conservation led him to pursue environmental landscape photography.

In 2001, McGinley’s family asked him to manage 400 acres of farmland in Barrington, Illinois, located 35 miles northwest of Chicago. After his parents’ passing, McGinley fought to protect both the land and the watershed it encompassed, rather than sell it to developers. His photographs of the farm played an essential role in lobbying local, state and federal authorities to grant a conservation easement for the land, and were used as exhibits during subsequent proceedings. The creation of the largest permanent land preservation easement in the state of Illinois was due to his diligent efforts, supported by the Barrington Hills Conservation Trust.

McGinley continues to photograph the farm and its wildlife areas in order to raise awareness of the need to preserve natural habitats and resources. His most recent work explores the incarnations of the Illinois farmland, at dawn and dusk. In addition to his environmental photography, he is an active member of the Trust for Public Land, Heal the Bay, Waterkeeper, and the Environmental Defense Fund, all organizations dedicated to safeguarding land and water resources.

Robert McGinley splits his time between Santa Monica, California and Barrington, Illinois, and maintains studios at both locations.