diane arbus

posted in art and design

russek’s department store

from diane arbus posted in art and design by pete_nice

This location is featured in the blog entry, "Diane Arbus: life, photos, locations."

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diane arbus apartment

from diane arbus posted in art and design by donkeyoti

According to the book Hubert's Freaks, Diane Arbus lived at this location while photographing sideshow acts at Hubert's Museum between 1959 and 1965. She wrote her address in the contact book of the sideshow's talker, R.C. Lucas, and there are many Arbus photographs from this era that have not been released commercially because of the Arbus estate restrictions.

Although Jack Dracula worked at Hubert's, this photo was taken outside of New London, CT, where he was working as a tattoo artist. Dracula later stated that little of Arbus's description of him in the article "The Full Circle", Harper's Bazaar, November 1961, was true.

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hubert’s museum

from diane arbus posted in art and design by donkeyoti

Hubert's Museum (or Hubert's Flea Circus, or Hubert's Sideshow) was a year-round, indoor sideshow located in Times Square. Opened in 1926 and closing in 1965, the entertainment at Hubert's was a mixture of "born freaks" and "made freaks."

By the time that photographer Diane Arbus started hanging out there, the sideshow at Hubert's had been relegated to the seedy basement of the building. Visitors were shuttled from one act to the next, forced to pay for each unusual curiosity.

Arbus met many of her photograph subjects here, spending time to get to know them individually. Eddie Carmel (from Arbus's A Jewish Giant at Home with His Parents in The Bronx, N.Y. 1970) was the World's Tallest Cowboy at Hubert's. Andy Ratoucheff (from Arbus's Russian midget friends in a living room on 100th Street, N.Y.C., 1963) performed as Andy Potato Chips at Hubert's.

The "freaks" there were friends- colleagues in the entertainment business who supported each other.

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club 82

from diane arbus posted in art and design by donkeyoti

Located in the basement, downstairs from a simple, nondescript door in the East Village of Manhattan, is Club 82. From 1958 to 1972, Club 82 was a female-impersonator/drag cabaret that was very popular among the gay community (it still has its own fan site). The club also attracted celebrities: David Bowie, Lou Reed, Blondie, and the New York Dolls all hung out here.

Diane Arbus frequented Club 82 to take photographs and to meet people she could shoot. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Arbus did not favor capturing snapshot portraits of her subjects. She would spend weeks, months, and sometimes years becoming acquainted with her subjects before getting the photo she wanted.

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vineland development center

from diane arbus posted in art and design by donkeyoti

From 1968 to 1971, the photographer Diane Arbus took a number of photographs at these locations. The Vineland Development Center and the Vineland Training Center have been providing housing and training for the developmentally disabled and their caretakers since the 1880s. The facilities have undergone several different name changes (thankfully), and the facility was named the American Institute for Mental Studies, or the "AIMS", when Arbus shot here.

There has been much speculation on the work that Arbus did here. Initially Arbus considered these photographs to be "lyric and tender and pretty", but by June 1971 she told mentor Lisette Model that she hated them.

Even today, these photographs hover between depicting the beauty of humanity in overcoming adversity, to the dangers of artistic exploitation. Much like the terminology changes to the institute itself, societal values are constantly shifting. Only now these people are immortalized.

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