Diane Arbus: A Biography

Diane Arbus: A Biography

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Bosworth’s remarkable look at the life of Diane Arbus, one of the most acclaimed and provocative photographers of her time
 
Diane Arbus became famous for her intimate and unconventional portraits of twins, dwarfs, sideshow performers, eccentrics, and everyday “freaks.” Condemned by some for voyeurism, praised by others for compassion, she was nonetheless a transformative figure in twentieth-century photography and hailed by all for her undeniable genius. Her life was cut short when she committed suicide in 1971 at the peak of her career.
 
In the first complete biography of Arbus, author Patricia Bosworth traces the arc of Arbus’s remarkable life: her sheltered upper-class childhood and passionate, all-consuming marriage to Allan Arbus; her roles as wife and devoted mother; and her evolution from fashion photographer to critically acclaimed artist—one who forever altered the boundaries of photography.


Opportunities for sensationalism abound in a book about Arbus, who already had a history of severe depressions and a crumbling marriage by the time she began to take the controversial, technically innovative pictures of dwarfs, nudists and drag queens that won her a reputation as "a photographer of freaks." Bosworth balances the lurid details -- rumors that Arbus had sex with her subjects, that she photographed her own suicide in 1971 -- with a nuanced appraisal of an artist whose images captured the uneasy mood of the 1960s by expressing her personal obsessions.

Bosworth’s remarkable look at the life of Diane Arbus, one of the most acclaimed and provocative photographers of her time
 
Diane Arbus became famous for her intimate and unconventional portraits of twins, dwarfs, sideshow performers, eccentrics, and everyday “freaks.” Condemned by some for voyeurism, praised by others for compassion, she was nonetheless a transformative figure in twentieth-century photography and hailed by all for her undeniable genius. Her life was cut short when she committed suicide in 1971 at the peak of her career.
 
In the first complete biography of Arbus, author Patricia Bosworth traces the arc of Arbus’s remarkable life: her sheltered upper-class childhood and passionate, all-consuming marriage to Allan Arbus; her roles as wife and devoted mother; and her evolution from fashion photographer to critically acclaimed artist—one who forever altered the boundaries of photography.


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