Cameron, Julia M.
Coburn, Alvin L.
Talbot,William H. Fox
Quote: "Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot.
It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific
kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still
do adore some of them. I don't quite mean they're my best friends
but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe. There's a quality
of legend about freaks. Lke a person in a fairy tale who stops
you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through
life dreading they'll have a traumatifc experience. Freaks were
born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life.
They're aristocrats." - Diane Arbus
Born in New York City in March of 1923, Diane
Arbus grew up in Central Park West. Supporting the family was her
father, who owned a 5th Avenue department store. At the age of 14,
Arbus met her future husband Allan Arbus, who she would marry in
four years. Both Allan and Diane worked in the fashion industry
as photographers. A great deal of Arbus' most memorable images comes
from her innovative work in magazines. As profit was a primary pursuit
for an unestablished photographer, Arbus' work in magazines was
both artistically striking and economically productive. Her commercial
photography is highlighted in the Apeture book entitled, Diane Arbus:
Arbus' artistic carrer initiated in 1959 when she began studying
photography with Lissete Model. With her new and innovative style,
Diane recieved the Guggenheim felowship in 1963 as well as in
'66. A year after her first fellowship, her work was recognized
by John Szarkowski who formed Arbus' first exhibit at the Museum
of Modern Art. As Arbus' career progressed, a portfolio of 10
photographs was made in 1970 that created her first series of
limited editions. While at the top of Diane's progression in the
art world and her ongoing exploration of the limits of photographic
art, her carrer was smashed to an immediate end by her suicide
on July 26th, 1971.
Arbus' work impacts the photography world with a sharp attack
on the boundaries of what is considered to be "proper"
or "tasteful" art. In 1972, Diane Arbus was the first
American photographer to be exhibited at the Venice Biennale.
More on Diane Arbus:
Art Photo Gallery
28 Photos and biography of Diane Arbus.
Profotos > Education
> Reference Desk > Photography Masters > Diane Arbus