vineland development center

from diane arbus posted in art and design


vineland development center
1676 east landis avenue
vineland, new jersey 08361

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posted by donkeyoti #

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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.

Untitled, 1970 - 1971, Diane Arbus.