Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus (1923–1971) was one of the most original and influential photographers of the twentieth century. She studied photography with Berenice Abbott, Alexey Brodovitch, and Lisette Model and had her first published photographs appear in Esquire in 1960. In 1963 and 1966 she was awarded John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships and was one of three photographers whose work was the focus of New Documents, John Szarkowski’s landmark exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1967. A year after her death, her work was selected for inclusion in the Venice Biennale—the first work of an American photographer to be so honored. The Museum of Modern Art hosted a major retrospective that traveled throughout the United States and Canada from 1972 to 1975. A larger full scale retrospective, Diane Arbus Revelations, was organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2003 and traveled to museums in the United States and Europe through 2006. A major European retrospective of Arbus’s work opened at the Jeu de Paume, Paris in October 2011 and traveled to Winterthur, Berlin and Amsterdam through 2013.

Five superb publications examine the artist’s work: Diane Arbus (Aperture, 1972); Magazine Work (1984); Untitled (1995); Diane Arbus Revelations (2003); and Diane Arbus: A Chronology (2011).

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Woman at a counter smoking, N.Y.C., 1962, gelatin-silver print