The Metropolitan Museum’s Curator in Charge of photography, and custodian of the Diane Arbus Archive reflects on the continued power and relevance of Arbus’ work.
Diane Arbus found most of her subjects in New York, the city in which she was born, and a place that she explored as both a known territory and a foreign land, during the 1950s and 1960s. Her "contemporary anthropology"—portraits of couples, children, carnival performers, nudists, middle-class families, transvestites, people on the street, zealots, eccentrics, and celebrities—stands as an allegory of postwar America and an exploration of the relationship between appearance and identity, illusion and belief, theater and reality.
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Supported by Penny Rubinoff