Diane Arbus

Getting to Know Diane Arbus

As part of the Met Breuer's inaugural season, a Diane Arbus exhibition features more than 100 images that position the photographer as one of the most influential and provocative artists of the 20th century. The exhibition focuses on seven years, 1956 - 1962, representing a formative period of Arbus' genesis.

Arbus was fascinated by photography even before she received a camera from her husband in 1941, at the age of 18, and made photos for the next 15 years while working with him as a stylist in their fashion photography business. But in 1956 she numbered a roll of 35mm film #1, marking the start of her own career. She used this camera almost exclusively over the next seven years, during which she matured into her signature idiosyncratic style of portraiture. Taken mostly around the New York area, her photographs of eccentrics, children, couples, circus performers, female impersonators, and Fifth Avenue ladies are among the most intimate of the era.

Two-thirds of the photographs in the exhibition have never before been seen, acquired in 2007 from the artist's daughters, Doon Arbus and Amy Arbus, who chose The Met to be the repository for their mother’s work. At the time of her death in 1971, much of this work was stored in boxes in a corner of her basement darkroom in Greenwich Village, separate from her apartment, and it wasn’t until years after she died that these early photos were discovered (they weren't included in the MoMA's retrospective a year after her death). It was only when the archive arrived at The Met that the work was fully explored. This is the first major project to be drawn from that collection.

Diane Arbus: In the Beginning, July 12 – November 27, 2016, The Met Breuer


Female impersonator holding long gloves, Hempstead, L.I., 1959


Little man biting woman’s breast, N.Y.C., 1958


Jack Dracula at a bar, New London, Conn., 1961


Lady on a bus, N.Y.C., 1957


Blonde receptionist behind a picture window, N.Y.C., 1962


Man in hat, trunks, socks and shoes, Coney Island, N.Y., 1960


Elderly woman whispering to her dinner partner, Grand Opera Ball, N.Y.C., 1959


Girl with a pointy hood and white schoolbag at the curb, N.Y.C., 1957


A naked man being a woman, N.Y.C., 1960


Screaming woman with blood on her hands, N.Y.C., 1961


Taxicab driver at the wheel with two passengers, N.Y.C., 1956


Stripper with bare breasts sitting in her dressing room, Atlantic City, N.J., 1961


Woman with white gloves and a pocket book, N.Y.C., 1956


The Backwards Man in his hotel room, N.Y.C., 1961


Child in a nightgown, Wellfleet, Mass., 1957


Girl and governess with baby carriage, N.Y.C., 1962


Child with A toy hand grenade In Central Park, N.Y.C., 1962


Child teasing another, N.Y.C., 1960


Headless woman, N.Y.C., 1961


Woman at a counter smoking, N.Y.C., 1962


Two girls on the beach, Coney Island, N.Y.C., 1958


Boy at the pool hall, N.Y.C., 1959


Woman wearing a mink stole and bow shoes, N.Y.C., 1956


Kid in a hooded jacket aiming a gun, N.Y.C., 1957


Fire Eater at a carnival, Palisades Park, N.J., 1957





blog comments powered by Disqus
Sep 06, 2016 15:27:00

Sign up for our Email Newsletter,
“A Little Hint”

Daily
Weekly