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Diane Arbus

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Diane Arbus is one of the most important artists in documentary style photography. Her extensive body of work includes images of people on the fringes of social acceptance as well as photographs of allegedly "normal" people, which show the cracks in their masks. Arbus touches questions of gender and identity with directness and sensibility at the same time.


Diane Nemerov is born in New York.
She grows up in a well-to-do family in New York.

Meets Allan Arbus.
During WW2 Allan Arbus studies photography at the Signal Corps Photography School in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.
He sets up a darkroom at home and teaches his wife what he had learned. After the war, Diane and Allan Arbus start their careers as fashion photographers.

Marries Allan Arbus.

Begins to study with Lisette Model at the New School for Social Research in New York.
Following Model's advice, she stops doing commercial work and persues her art.
Her photographs are published in Esquire, New York Times Magazine, Sunday Times Magazine (London) etc.

Separation from Allan Arbus.

1963 & 1966
Receives two Guggenheim Fellowships.
Teaches at the Parsons School of Design, the Cooper Union, New York, and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.

Group exhibition “New Documents” with Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand, Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Portfolio of ten prints for her first limited edition.
Commits suicide.

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Current and past exhibition-dates and information
May 26th, 2007

More dates:

Selected Solo Exhibitions

Revelations , Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA

Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Surfers Paradise, Australia

Revelations, CaixaForum - Fundació la Caixa, Barcelona, Spain

Revelations, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Family Albums, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Winston-Salem, USA

Revelations, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany

Revelations, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Family Albums,Portland Art Museum, Portland, USA

Revelations, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA

Family Albums, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, USA

Revelations, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA

Family Albums, Grey Art Gallery, NYU, New York, USA

RevelationsSFMOMA San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA

Diane Arbus, De Hallen, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands

Retrospective, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Selected Group Exhibitions

Das Achte Feld - Geschlechter, Leben und Begehren in der bildenden Kunst seit 1960 , Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany

In Sight: Recent Additions to the Permanent Collection , The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, USA

Biennale Internazionale di Fotografia di Brescia, Italy

Cruel and Tender: The Real in the Twentieth-Century Photograph; Tate Modern, London and Museum Ludwig, Cologne

Photography Until Now; Museum of Modern Art, New York (also traveled to Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio)

On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (also traveled to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

Mirrors and Windows: American Photography since 1960; Museum of Modern Art; New York

Contemporary Photographs I; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

Thirteen Photographers; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York

Human Concern/Personal Torment: The Grotesque in American Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

New Photography U.S.A.; Museum of Modern Art, New York,

10 Photographers; U.S. Pavilion, Japan World Exhibition, Osaka, Japan

New Documents: Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand; Museum of Modern Art; New York, New York

Recent Acquisitions: Photography; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

Invitational Exhibition: 10 American Photographers; School of Fine Arts, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

(with Allan Arbus) The Family of Man; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York

BiographyExhibitionBibliographyArt objects


Diane Arbus: The Libraries, 2005 (ed. by Doon Arbus, published by Fraenkel Gallery)

Diane Arbus: Revelations, 2003

Diane Arbus: Familiy Album, 2003

Untitled: Diane Arbus, 1995

Diane Arbus: Magazine Work, 1984

Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph, 1972

BiographyExhibitionBibliographyArt objects

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