39 Facts About Diane Arbus


Diane Arbus photographed a wide range of subjects including strippers, carnival performers, nudists, people with dwarfism, children, mothers, couples, elderly people, and middle-class families.


Diane Arbus photographed her subjects in familiar settings: their homes, on the street, in the workplace, in the park.


Diane Arbus's imagery helped to normalize marginalized groups and highlight the importance of proper representation of all people.


Diane Arbus was awarded a renewal of her fellowship in 1966.


Diane Arbus's photographs were included in a number of other major group shows.


In 1972, a year after her suicide, Diane Arbus became the first photographer to be included in the Venice Biennale where her photographs were "the overwhelming sensation of the American Pavilion" and "extremely powerful and very strange".


The first major retrospective of Diane Arbus' work was held in 1972 at MoMA, organized by Szarkowski.

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Diane Arbus's father became a painter after retiring from Russeks.


Diane Arbus's parents were not deeply involved in raising their children, who were overseen by maids and governesses.


Diane Arbus's mother had a busy social life and underwent a period of clinical depression for approximately a year, then recovered, and her father was busy with work.


Diane Arbus separated herself from her family and her lavish childhood.


Diane Arbus attended the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, a college-preparatory school.


In late 1959, Diane Arbus began a relationship with the art director and painter Marvin Israel that would last until her death.


Diane Arbus received her first camera, a Graflex, from Allan shortly after they married.


Diane Arbus would come up with the concepts for their shoots and then take care of the models.


Diane Arbus grew dissatisfied with this role, a role even her husband thought was "demeaning".


However, it was her studies with Lisette Model, which began in 1956, that encouraged Diane Arbus to focus exclusively on her own work.


That year Diane Arbus quit the commercial photography business and began numbering her negatives.


The idea of personal identity as socially constructed is one that Diane Arbus came back to, whether it be performers, women and men wearing makeup, or a literal mask obstructing one's face.


Diane Arbus is often praised for her sympathy for these subjects, a quality which is not immediately understood through the images themselves, but through her writing and the testimonies of the men and women she portrayed.


Diane Arbus began photographing on assignment for magazines such as Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, and The Sunday Times Magazine in 1959.


Around 1962, Diane Arbus switched from a 35mm Nikon camera which produced the grainy rectangular images characteristic of her post-studio work to a twin-lens reflex Rolleiflex camera which produced more detailed square images.


Diane Arbus's pioneering use of flash in daylight isolated the subjects from the background, which contributed to the photos' surreal quality.


In spite of being widely published and achieving some artistic recognition, Diane Arbus struggled to support herself through her work.


In 1963, Diane Arbus was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for a project on "American rites, manners, and customs"; the fellowship was renewed in 1966.

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Diane Arbus taught photography at the Parsons School of Design and the Cooper Union in New York City, and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island.


Diane Arbus returned to several facilities repeatedly for Halloween parties, picnics, and dances.


On July 26,1971, while living at Westbeth Artists Community in New York City, Diane Arbus died by suicide by ingesting barbiturates and cutting her wrists with a razor.


Diane Arbus wrote the words "Last Supper" in her diary and placed her appointment book on the stairs leading up to the bathroom.


Diane Arbus has been called "a seminal figure in modern-day photography and an influence on three generations of photographers" and is widely considered to be among the most influential artists of the last century.


Diane Arbus is described by film historian Nick Chen as "Kubrick's right-hand man from the mid-70s onwards".


Since Diane Arbus died without a will, the responsibility for overseeing her work fell to her daughter, Doon.


Diane Arbus forbade examination of Arbus' correspondence and often denied permission for exhibition or reproduction of Arbus' photographs without prior vetting, to the ire of many critics and scholars.


In 1972, Diane Arbus was the first photographer to be included in the Venice Biennale; her photographs were described as "the overwhelming sensation of the American Pavilion" and "an extraordinary achievement".


Diane Arbus remains the only person who is authorized to make posthumous prints of Arbus' work.


Patricia Bosworth wrote an unauthorized biography of Diane Arbus published in 1984.


In 1986, Diane Arbus was inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum.


In 2006, the fictional film Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus was released, starring Nicole Kidman as Arbus; it used Patricia Bosworth's unauthorized biography Diane Arbus: A Biography as a source of inspiration.


However, Diane Arbus completed only eight boxes and sold only four.