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SFMOMA
January 13, 2017

On View: Diane Arbus at SFMOMA

The exhibition Diane Arbus: In The Beginning has now ended. Please visit SFMOMA for current exhibitions.


Bringing together over 100 photographs from this formative period between 1956 and 1962, this exhibition offers fresh insights into the distinctive vision of this iconic American photographer. diane arbus: in the beginning will be presented in the museum's new Pritzker Center for Photography. SFMOMA is the only American venue other than The Metropolitan Museum of Art to present this exhibition.

About Diane Arbus

A lifelong New Yorker, Diane Arbus (1923-1971) 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 20th 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.

The Exhibition

The exhibition includes many lesser-known published works, including Lady on a bus, N.Y.C. 1957Boy stepping off the curb, N.Y.C. 1957-58The Backwards Man in his hotel room, N.Y.C. 1961; and Jack Dracula at a bar, New London, Conn. 1961. It also highlights previously unknown additions to her body of work, including Taxicab driver at the wheel with two passengers, N.Y.C. 1956Woman with white gloves and a pocket book, N.Y.C. 1956; and Man in hat, trunks, socks and shoes, Coney Island, N.Y. 1960.

The exhibition will be complemented by a gallery featuring artists Arbus admired, as well as works by her contemporaries in New York, including Walker Evans, Louis Faurer, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, William Klein, Helen Levitt, Lisette Model, August Sander, Weegee and Gary Winogrand, all drawn from SFMOMA's photography collection.

diane arbus: in the beginning is on view from Jan. 21 through April 30, 2017, and access is included with general admission ticket to the museum. For more information, and to purchase tickets, please visit SFMOMA online.

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