Through her innovative body of work, guided by intuition and instinct, Arbus became one of the most influential photographers of the post-war era. Often controversial, many of her photographs push the boundaries, and have impacted photographers and photography of the 20th to 21st Centuries.
Born in New York City in March of 1923, she was the daughter of a 5th Avenue department store owner. In 1959, Arbus began studying photography with Lissete Model, and twice received a Guggenheim Fellowship on the basis of her innovative work (1963 and 1966). In 1964, she was honored with her first exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, and in 1970 a portfolio of ten photographs was made into her first series of limited editions.
Both she and her husband Allan, whom she met at age 14, and marrried at 18, worked as fashion photographers as well, and this work is represented in the book Diane Arbus: Magazine Work. Diane Arbus was the first American photographer whose work was represented at the Venice Biennale in Italy.
Tragically, her life and career ended with her suicide on July 26, 1971.