Diane Arbus - Photographers, Career and Facts

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Diane Arbus's Personal Details

Diane Arbus was a Jewish American photographer of the twentieth century who was notable for her eerie black and white photographs

InformationDetail
BirthdayMarch 14, 1923
Died onJuly 26, 1971
NationalityAmerican
FamousPhotographers
City/StateNew Yorkers
SpousesAllan Arbus
SiblingsHoward Nemerov
Known asDiane Nemerov
Childrens Amy Arbus, Doon Arbus
Universities
  • The New School
  • Ethical Culture Fieldston School
Cause of deathSuicide
Birth PlaceNew York City, New York
GenderFemale
FatherDavid Nemerov
MotherGertrude Russek
Sun SignPisces
Born inNew York City, New York
Famous asPhotographer
Died at Age48

// Famous Photographers

Diane Arbus's photo

Who is Diane Arbus?

Diane Arbus was an American photographer who was renowned for her eerie black and white photographs. She brought out revolution in black and white photography by taking pictures of abnormal people, eccentrics, and street performers. She moved closely with the people whom she decided to photograph so that she could make them pose the exact expression that she wanted. She pursued the psychological and the private realities of life and her pictures have a penetrating impact over the onlookers. She belonged to an affluent family and was brought up as a “darling,” but she looked for a different aspect in life and was captivated by uncommon people with weird or complex outlook or behavior and by people who belonged to the lower strata of society. Even in the world of fashion and children photography, she was miles apart from conventional methods. She was a professional photographer for famed magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, and The Sunday Times Magazine. She continued her friendly relations with her husband even after their separation, but inwardly she found it hard to battle over the solitude and her health issues that prompted her to commit suicide at the age of 48. Just like her personality, her private life remained a subject of interest and resulted in the filming of her life that was released with the title, “Fur,” in which Nicole Kidman played the role of Arbus.

// Pisces Celebrities

Childhood & Early Life

Diane Arbus was born as Diane Nemerov in New York City in a rich Jewish family. Her father David Nemerov and her mother Gertrude owned a departmental store named “Russek's".

She was the second of the three children of the Nemerovs. Her elder brother Howard Nemerov later became the United States Poet Laureate and her younger sister Renee became an eminent designer and sculptor.

Both Diane and her siblings were educated at Ethical Culture School and the Fieldston School in Manhattan. Since her family was rich, they were unaffected by the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Career

Her husband Allan was her first teacher to teach photography. In 1946, she started her career as a photographer and worked in the advertisement section of her father’s store along with her husband.

Later along with her husband, she started her own commercial photography business and started undertaking assignments for clothing fashions. Diane took care of the costume and makeup of the model whereas Allan photographed.

Their unconventional style of photography attracted the people and they gained name and fame as fashion photographers. They got assignments from renowned fashion magazines like "Harper's Bazaar" and "Vogue."

Diane was not happy with her secondary role and she wanted to learn professional photography. In 1957, she left her husband’s business and enrolled in the workshop of Alexey Brodovitch.

In 1958, she started taking photographic classes from Lisette Model’s New School, where she learnt professional photography. The influence of Model can be felt in her later creations.

Impressed by her photographs, The Esquire magazine entrusted her with a photo assignment on the nightlife of New York. Her work titled “The Vertical Journey” was published in the magazine in 1960.

Meanwhile, she got acquainted to Marvin Israel, her second mentor who introduced her to influential people. In 1961, she became the art director of Harper’s Bazaar and also started to publish her pictures.

In 1962, she was influenced by the work of John Szarkowski, who became the curator of photography at MOMA. This made her move from 35mm camera to a specialized one producing square shaped images.

In 1963, she was offered Guggenheim Fellowship for working on "American rites, manners, and customs." To work on the project, she got involved in photographing a nudist camp for the first time.

In late 1960s, she taught photography in Parsons School of Design, Cooper Union, and Rhode Island School of Design. Simultaneously, she published her pictures in magazines like Sunday Times Magazine, Esquire, and Harper’s Bazaar.

In 1969, she was legally separated from her husband Allan. Even after their separation their friendship continued but Diane who was depressed and sick with hepatitis committed suicide two years later in her apartment.

Major Works

Her photograph “Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park” captivated the viewers. When a copy of the photograph was auctioned in 2005, it was sold for $408,000.

Her photograph, “Identical Twins” was chosen as the cover image of the photography book “Diane Arbus,” published in 1972. The book made a record sale as one of the best-selling photography books.

Awards & Achievements

Her non-commercial pictures of a couple on a park bench, a young Republican, and identical twin girls revolutionized the photographic style. She was offered Guggenheim Fellowships in 1963 and three years later the fellowship was renewed.

In 1970, she won the Robert Levitt Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers for outstanding achievement.

Personal Life & Legacy

While she was thirteen, she got acquainted to Allan Arbus who was nineteen years old and fell in love with him. Allan was working in the advertisement department of her family store.

Though her parents initially objected to the affair, Diane continued to meet Allan secretly. In 1941, Allan and Diane were married with the help of a rabbi and the marriage was accepted by the elders.

The couple was blessed with two daughters named Doon and Amy who were interested in fashion photography. Later Doon became famous as a writer and Amy as a fashion photographer.

They lived separately for some years and were divorced in 1969. Diane became depressed due to illness and loneliness and committed suicide in her apartment in New York City.

In 1972, her monograph titled, "Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph" edited and designed by her friend and painter Marvin Israel and daughter Doon Arbus was published. This was published in five languages.

Trivia

The husband of this famous photographer of the 1950s was also an actor. He performed the role of Sidney Freedman, a psychiatrist in the television series M.A.S.H.

This New York photographer of the twentieth century famous for photographing “freaks” was accused of nihilism by Susan Sontag. Susan accused her through an article published in the New York Review of Books.

// Famous People From New York

Diane Arbus biography timelines

  • // 14th Mar 1923
    Diane Arbus was born as Diane Nemerov in New York City in a rich Jewish family. Her father David Nemerov and her mother Gertrude owned a departmental store named “Russek's".
  • // 1941
    Though her parents initially objected to the affair, Diane continued to meet Allan secretly. In 1941, Allan and Diane were married with the help of a rabbi and the marriage was accepted by the elders.
  • // 1946
    Her husband Allan was her first teacher to teach photography. In 1946, she started her career as a photographer and worked in the advertisement section of her father’s store along with her husband.
  • // 1957
    Diane was not happy with her secondary role and she wanted to learn professional photography. In 1957, she left her husband’s business and enrolled in the workshop of Alexey Brodovitch.
  • // 1958
    In 1958, she started taking photographic classes from Lisette Model’s New School, where she learnt professional photography. The influence of Model can be felt in her later creations.
  • // 1961
    Meanwhile, she got acquainted to Marvin Israel, her second mentor who introduced her to influential people. In 1961, she became the art director of Harper’s Bazaar and also started to publish her pictures.
  • // 1962
    In 1962, she was influenced by the work of John Szarkowski, who became the curator of photography at MOMA. This made her move from 35mm camera to a specialized one producing square shaped images.
  • // 1963
    In 1963, she was offered Guggenheim Fellowship for working on "American rites, manners, and customs." To work on the project, she got involved in photographing a nudist camp for the first time.
  • // 1969
    In 1969, she was legally separated from her husband Allan. Even after their separation their friendship continued but Diane who was depressed and sick with hepatitis committed suicide two years later in her apartment.
  • // 1970
    In 1970, she won the Robert Levitt Award from the American Society of Magazine Photographers for outstanding achievement.
  • // 26th Jul 1971
    They lived separately for some years and were divorced in 1969. Diane became depressed due to illness and loneliness and committed suicide in her apartment in New York City.

// Famous People Who Died of Suicide

Diane Arbus's FAQ

  • What is Diane Arbus birthday?

    Diane Arbus was born at 1923-03-14

  • When was Diane Arbus died?

    Diane Arbus was died at 1971-07-26

  • Where was Diane Arbus died?

    Diane Arbus was died in Greenwich Village

  • Which age was Diane Arbus died?

    Diane Arbus was died at age 48

  • Where is Diane Arbus's birth place?

    Diane Arbus was born in New York City, New York

  • What is Diane Arbus nationalities?

    Diane Arbus's nationalities is American

  • Who is Diane Arbus spouses?

    Diane Arbus's spouses is Allan Arbus

  • Who is Diane Arbus siblings?

    Diane Arbus's siblings is Howard Nemerov

  • Who is Diane Arbus childrens?

    Diane Arbus's childrens is Amy Arbus, Doon Arbus

  • What was Diane Arbus universities?

    Diane Arbus studied at The New School, Ethical Culture Fieldston School

  • What is Diane Arbus's cause of dead?

    Diane Arbus dead because of Suicide

  • Who is Diane Arbus's father?

    Diane Arbus's father is David Nemerov

  • Who is Diane Arbus's mother?

    Diane Arbus's mother is Gertrude Russek

  • What is Diane Arbus's sun sign?

    Diane Arbus is Pisces

  • How famous is Diane Arbus?

    Diane Arbus is famouse as Photographer