Katherine Du Tiel
Exhibition

diane arbus

in the beginning

January 21–April 30, 2017

Floor 3

diane arbus: in the beginning considers the first seven years of the photographer’s career, from 1956 to 1962. A lifelong New Yorker, Arbus found the city and its citizens an endlessly rich subject for her art. Working in Times Square, the Lower East Side, and Coney Island, she made some of the most powerful portraits of the twentieth century, training her lens on the pedestrians and performers she encountered there. This exhibition highlights her early and enduring interest in the subject matter that would come to define her as an artist. It also reveals the artist’s evolution from a 35mm format to the now instantly recognizable and widely imitated look of the square format she adopted in 1962. Bringing together over 100 photographs from this formative period, many on display for the first time, diane arbus: in the beginning offers fresh insights into the distinctive vision of this iconic American photographer.

This exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Major support for diane arbus: in the beginning is provided by Lisa and John Pritzker. Generous support is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher and Sheri and Paul Siegel.

Entry to this exhibition is included with general admission.



Member Preview Days are Thursday, January 19, 2017, 10 a.m.–9 p.m. and Friday, January 20, 2017, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.


Header image: Katherine Du Tiel

Exhibition Preview

  • Artwork image, Arbus, Jack Dracula at a bar
    Jack Dracula at a bar, New London, Conn. 1961; promised gift of Doon Arbus and Amy Arbus, 2007; courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC; all rights reserved
  • Artwork image, Diane Arbus, Woman with white gloves and a pocket book
    Woman with white gloves and a pocket book, N.Y.C. 1956; collection of Jennifer and Philip Maritz; courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC; all rights reserved
  • Artwork image, Diane Arbus, Fire Eater at a carnival
    Fire Eater at a carnival, Palisades Park, N.J. 1957; gift of Danielle and David Ganek, 2005; courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC; all rights reserved
  • Artwork image, Diane Arbus, Lady on a bus, N.Y.C.
    Lady on a bus, N.Y.C. 1957; gift of Danielle and David Ganek, 2005; courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC; all rights reserved
  • Artwork image, Diane Arbus, Female impersonator holding long gloves
    Female impersonator holding long gloves, Hempstead, L.I. 1959; purchase, Joyce F. Menschel Gift, 2015; courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC; all rights reserved
  • Artwork image, Diane Arbus, Man in hat, trunks, socks and shoes
    Man in hat, trunks, socks and shoes, Coney Island, N.Y. 1960; promised gift of Doon Arbus and Amy Arbus, 2007; courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC; all rights reserved
  • Artwork image, Diane Arbus, Stripper with bare breasts sitting in her dressing room
    Stripper with bare breasts sitting in her dressing room, Atlantic City, N.J. 1961; purchase, Jade Lau Gift, 2015; courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York / copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC; all rights reserved

Exhibition Catalogue

diane arbus: in the beginning showcases over 100 of the artist’s early photographs, more than half of which are published here for the first time. The book provides a crucial, in-depth presentation of the artist’s genesis, showing Arbus as she developed her evocative and often haunting imagery. The photographs featured in this handsome volume reveal an artist defining her style, honing her subject matter, and in full possession of the many gifts for which she is now recognized the world over.