Diane Arbus was an American photographer known for her images of unusual figures in society, such as circus performers, dwarfs, giants and transvestites. Born Diane Nemerov in New York City, her parents were wealthy business owners and this sheltered her from the Great Depression.
She married Allan Arbus at the age of eighteen and he shared her interest in photography; they worked together taking photographs for the Nemerov’s business. The couple ran a successful commercial photography business prior to the marriage ending and Diane leaving the commercial business. Working on assignment followed, as did two Guggenheim Fellowships and a teaching career.Her first major exhibition took place at the MOMA in 1967 and as her fame as an artist grew she did less work on assignment. Examples of her most iconic individual photographs include: Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962, A Young Man in Curlers at Home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C. 1966, Boy With a Straw Hat Waiting to March in a Pro-War Parade, N.Y.C. 1967 and Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J. 1967. Arbus was known to have experienced depression and in 1978 she took her own life while living at an Artists Community in New York.