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Diane Arbus (American, 1923–1971)
LOT ID: 80513
Human Pincushion at a Carnival in His Silk Shirt, 1961

Silver Print, gelatin silver print
9.45 х 6.25 in. (24 x 15.88 cm.)
Inscribed, with the Arbus Estate authentication number, stamped and signed by the photographer’s daughter, Doon Arbus, in ink on verso. Copyright 1986.
Lot description
Image size is 9.45 x 6.25 inches (24.0 x 15.9 cm), frame size 16.80 x 13.45 inches (42.7 x 34.2 cm). This is a very rare and valuable photograph.

Diane Arbus (American, 1923–1971) is one of the most distinguished American photographers of the 20th century, known for her arresting black-and-white photographs of children, artists, and famous figures, as well as her portraits of those living on the margins of conventional society. Arbus was born in New York, and first ventured into photography with her husband, Allan Arbus, after World War II, gaining considerable success as a pair in the world of fashion photography. Arbus later divorced her husband and continued to work independently, studying with Alexei Brodovitch, the art director of Harper’s Bazaar, and Richard Avedon. In the early 1960s, Arbus began producing compelling portraits of people on the outskirts of society, including clowns, exotic dancers, circus performers, and transvestites; she received widespread recognition for these works. Arbus also became known for her eerie photographs of children, intimate portraits of famous figures, and urban scenes. Arbus received two Guggenheim Fellowships to support her work in the 1960s, and taught at the Parsons School of Design and at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1971, she committed suicide while still definitively at the height of her career. In 1972, the Museum of Modern Art held a retrospective of her work and the Aperture Foundation published an accompanying catalogue; the Aperture monograph has sold more than 12 million copies to date. The year after her death, Arbus was also selected as the first photographer to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale.
Human Pincushion at a Carnival in His Silk Shirt by Diane Arbus
  • Human Pincushion at a Carnival in His Silk Shirt by Diane Arbus
  • Human Pincushion at a Carnival in His Silk Shirt by Diane Arbus
  • Human Pincushion at a Carnival in His Silk Shirt by Diane Arbus
  • Human Pincushion at a Carnival in His Silk Shirt by Diane Arbus
  • Human Pincushion at a Carnival in His Silk Shirt by Diane Arbus
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Diane Arbus

    Self-Portrait, Pregnant, N.Y.C
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  • Diane Arbus

    Woman in a Bow Dress, N.Y.C
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  • Diane Arbus

    A Family on their lawn one Sunday in Westchester, N.Y. (from A Box of Ten Photographs)
    gelatin silver print
    (H 14.7, W 15.0) in.
    (37.4 x 38) cm.
    Ed. 48/50
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  • Diane Arbus

    A Flower Girl at a Wedding, Conn
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  • Diane Arbus

    Triplets in their bedroom, N.J
    gelatin silver print
    (H 14.9, W 15) in.
    (37.8 x 38.1) cm.
    Ed. 46/75
    Sold for: US$40,000
    Wednesday, April 03, 2013
    Phillips New York
    Lot 00210
  • Diane Arbus

    Woman with a veil on Fifth Avenue, N.Y.C.
    gelatin silver print
    (H 14.6, W 14.6) in.
    (37 x 37) cm.
    Sold for: US$40,329
    Wednesday, May 23, 2012
    Bukowskis Stockholm
    Lot 00325
  • Diane Arbus

    Triplets in their bedroom, N.J
    gelatin silver print
    (H 14.8, W 14.8) in.
    (37.5 x 37.5) cm.
    Ed. 40/75
    Sold for: US$37,500
    Wednesday, April 04, 2012
    Phillips de Pury & Company New York
    Lot 00073
  • Diane Arbus

    Viva at home
    gelatin silver print
    (H 15.2, W 15.2) in.
    (38.7 x 38.7) cm.
    Sold for: US$194,500
    Wednesday, October 05, 2011
    Sotheby's New York
    Lot 00150
  • Diane Arbus

    Three circus ballerinas
    gelatin silver print
    (H 14.5, W 14.5) in.
    (36.9 x 36.9) cm.
    Ed. 6/75
    Sold for: US$38,687
    Tuesday, November 13, 2007
    Christie's London
    Lot 00008
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