Diane Arbus: A Chronology (October, 2011) reads like a contemporaneous diary by one of the most daring, influential, and controversial artists of the twentieth century. Drawn primarily from Arbus’s extensive correspondence with friends, family, and colleagues; personal notebooks; and other unpublished writings, this beautifully produced volume exposes the private thoughts and motivations of a photographer whose astonishing vision revolutionized the medium. Further rounding out Arbus’s life and work are exhaustively researched footnotes that amplify the entire Chronology. A section at the end of the book provides biographies for fifty-five personalities, family members, friends, and colleagues, from Marvin Israel and Lisette Model to Weegee and August Sander.
Describing the Chronology in Art in America, Leo Rubinfien noted that “Arbus. . . wrote as well as she photographed, and her letters, where she heard each nuance of her words, were gifts to the people who received them. Once one has been introduced to it, the beauty of her spirit permanently changes and deepens one’s understanding of her pictures . . . ”
The material in Diane Arbus: A Chronology originally appeared in Diane Arbus Revelations. The new publication offers, in an accessible, paperback volume, Arbus’s insights into her life and work in her own words. It is indispensible reading for anyone interested in the artist, her photographs, and her world.
Diane Arbus (1923–1971) is widely recognized as one of the most iconic artists of the twentieth century. In addition to Chronology, four volumes of her work have been published posthumously and have remained continuously in print: Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph (1972), Diane Arbus: Magazine Work (1984), Untitled: Diane Arbus (1995), and Diane Arbus Revelations (2003).
Elisabeth Sussman (coauthor, chronology and footnotes) is the Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She served as guest co-curator for the retrospective Diane Arbus Revelations.
Doon Arbus (coauthor, chronology and footnotes) is the eldest daughter of Diane and Allan Arbus; since her mother’s death she has managed The Estate of Diane Arbus.
Jeff L. Rosenheim (author, biographies) is curator of photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Exhibition on View: Coinciding with the publication of A Chronology is an international traveling exhibition premiering at Jeu de Paume, Paris. With over two hundred photographs, this first major retrospective of her work in France reveals the origins, scope, and aspirations of a wholly original force in photography.
• Jeu de Paume, Paris, October 18, 2011–February 5, 2012
• Fotomuseum, Winterthur, Switzerland, March 2–May 28, 2012
• Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, June 21–September 24, 2012
• FOAM, Amsterdam, October 25, 2012–January 13, 2013