ARBUS, DIANE


ARBUS, DIANE
ARBUS, DIANE (1923–1971), U.S. photographer. The photographer of provocative and unsettling portraits was born in New York to a wealthy Jewish family. Her father, David Nemerov, the son of Russian immigrants, took over Russek's Fur Store owned by his father-in-law and turned it into Russek's of Fifth Avenue, a fashion showplace. Diane (usually pronounced Dee-Ann) was raised with her two siblings (her brother, howard nemerov , was a major poet and critic) in privileged circumstances on Central Park West and Park Avenue in Manhattan. At 13 she met Allan Arbus, who worked in the advertising department of her parents' store, and they married, with her parents' grudging approval, after she turned 18. Trained as a photographer during World War II, Allan put aside his ambitions for an acting career to make a living in fashion photography. Diane became his partner, shaping and styling the shots. With Russek's as their first client, the Arbs, as they were called, got assignments for the fashion magazines Glamour, Seventeen, and Vogue. They worked closely as a team, and they took equal credit on their published photos. The photographic partnership broke up in 1957 when Diane, a victim of recurring depressions, opted out of the business. A year earlier, a photo of theirs was included in the massive "Family of Man" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. The professional separation was followed in 1959 by a marital separation but the Arbuses remained close friends and his laboratory assistants developed her film. Diane enrolled in a course at the New School taught by Lisette Model, a documentary photographer with a flair for the grotesque and exaggerated, and Model became her devoted mentor. Encouraged by Model and her husband, Arbus began to develop her own approach, to register through her lens the "forbidden" subject matter that had always secretly attracted her. She sought out bag ladies, tattooed men and women, nudists, carnival oddities, the deformed, and the retarded. Freaks had "a terrific kind of excitement for me," she said in an oft-repeated quotation. "Most people go through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They're aristocrats." By the early 1960s her commercial portraits for magazines like Esquire and Harper's Bazaar began to assume a distinctive look. Her dream was to photograph everybody in the world. Her edgy, transcendental photographs of peace marches, art openings, circuses, and portraits of the billionaire H.L. Hunt, Gloria Vanderbilt's baby, and Coretta Scott King were memorable. She would spend hours with her subjects, following them to home or office, talking and listening, trying to soften them up. In 1962 she met John Szarkowski, who had replaced Edward Steichen as the curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1967 he featured her in the groundbreaking exhibition "New Documents," with images of midgets, transvestites, and nudists, and her fame multiplied. Her depictions of suburban boredom, New Jersey twins in matching dresses and head bands, and shriveled post-celebrity have become archetypes. Photos like "Identical Twins," "A Young Man in Curlers," and, especially, her 1970 "A Jewish Giant at Home With His Parents" (8 ft. Eddie Carmel) remain signatures decades after her death. In July 1971, after debilitating bouts of depression and hepatitis and her official divorce from Allan Arbus, art director Marvin Israel, her collaborator, critic, and lover, found her with her wrists slit, dead in the bathtub of her apartment. A year after her death the Venice Biennale exhibited ten huge blowups of her human oddities that were the sensation of   the American Pavilion. Soon afterward a large retrospective opened at the Museum of Modern Art and was both damned for its voyeurism and praised for its compassion. Her family put a tight lid on reproductions of her work and insisted on vetting all the textual material that accompanied the photographs. Consequently, very few images were reproduced over the years. (Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Arbus, Diane — orig. Diane Nemerov born March 14, 1923, New York, N.Y., U.S. died July 26, 1971, New York City U.S. photographer. The sister of the poet and critic Howard Nemerov, she worked as a fashion photographer in the 1950s. From about 1955 to 1957 she… …   Universalium

  • Arbus, Diane — orig. Diane Nemerov (14 mar. 1923, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.–26 jul. 1971, Nueva York). Fotógrafa estadounidense. Hermana del poeta y crítico Howard Nemerov. Trabajó como fotógrafa de modas en la década de 1950. De 1955 a 1957 estudió con la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Arbus,Diane — Ar·bus (ärʹbəs), Diane. 1923 1971. American photographer best known for her portraits of prostitutes, transvestites, persons with physical deformities, and other unconventional subjects. * * * …   Universalium

  • Diane Arbus — Photograph of Diane Arbus by Allan Arbus (a film test), c. 1949[1]:137 Birth name …   Wikipedia

  • Diane Arbus — (* 14. März 1923 in New York; † 26. Juli 1971 in Greenwich Village, New York) war eine amerikanische Fotografin und Fotojournalistin russisch jüdischer Abstammung. Arbus wurde vornehmlich durch ihre Fotoreportagen für namhafte US Magazine bekannt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • ARBUS (D.) — ARBUS DIANE (1923 1971) Par la force des «sujets» dont elle tire des portraits, par l’effet d’«inquiétante étrangeté» de son style, par sa cohérence intellectuelle et émotionnelle, Diane Arbus est sans conteste une grande figure de la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Diane — [dī an′] n. a feminine name: dim. Di; var. Dianne: see DIANA * * * (as used in expressions) Arbus Diane Diane Nemerov Hillary Diane Rodham Di Prima Diane Diane de France duchess de Montmorency and Angoulême Diane de Poitiers duchess de… …   Universalium

  • Diane — Diana (Variationen: Diyana, Diane, Dian, Dana, Dejana, Dijana, Dajana oder Dayana) ist ein weiblicher Vorname. Porträt eines jungen Mädchens als Diana, von Abraham Lambertsz. van den Tempel …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Diane — (as used in expressions) Arbus, Diane Diane Nemerov Hillary Diane Rodham Di Prima, Diane Keaton, Diane Diane Hall …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Diane Arbus — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Diane Arbus (Nueva York, 14 de marzo de 1923 Greenwich, Nueva York, 26 de julio de 1971) fue una fotógrafa estadounidense. Contenido 1 Biografía 2 Su obra …   Wikipedia Español


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