Blogging from A to Z Challenge: A is for…Diane Arbus (#AtoZChallenge)

Welcome to my April 2020 Great and Powerful Blogging from A to Z Challenge!

I’ve revealed my theme (Female Photographers), and as I have every year, I am going to be blogging my theme letters on the fly – even though I had originally planned to be more prepared, COVID took over my life (I am an instructional designer in eLearning at a college that is frantically moving everyone online…).  So, here goes nothing!

Diane Arbus was an American photographer best known for her black and white portraits.  And not just your average portraits, but images of people not typically found in portrait studio.

“During her wanderings around New York City, Arbus began to pursue taking photographs of people she found. She visited seedy hotels, public parks, a morgue and other various locales. These unusual images had a raw quality, and several of them found their way into the July 1960 issue of Esquire magazine. These photographs proved to be a spring board for future work.” (

What I admire about her photography is the passion she had for her art.  Some of the reading I’ve done, however, indicates she may not have been quite so caring about her subjects, but when she saw a story she felt needed to be told, she told it.   You can read an in-depth discussion of her work ethic in The Cut article.

Diane Arbus was born in 1923, and after quite the colourful life, committed suicide in 1971.

When I think of my own photography, I avoid portraits at all costs.  And with the current situation, I definitely don’t feel comfortable going out and trying to emulate Arbus’ work, so I won’t try that for this post.  I also won’t post any of her works here as they are all copyrighted as per her estate, but you can visit the many sites I’ve listed here to see her photographs.


Diane Arbus at Wikipedia

Diane Arbus at ArtNet

AGO Diane Arbus Exhibition

Diane Arbus at the Smithsonian

Was Diane Arbus the Most Radical Photographer of the 20th Century?

New York Times Magazine: Arbus Reconsidered

New Yorker: Diane Arbus, Portrait of a Photographer

A Look Into the Life and Work of Diane Arbus

Thanks for visiting my 2020 A to Z Challenge – Letter A.  You can find links to more blogs participating in this challenge at Letter A, A to Z 2020 Challenge Master List (Google Docs).

Posted on April 1, 2020, in A to Z Challenge, photography, Photos I took, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Great choice. I love her work.

  2. Very interesting to know a little something about this photographer. I do believe I’ve heard the name before.
    Good start for A to Z! 🙂

  3. Great post – I look forward to digging through the links, and I’m extremely excited to see what other photographers you feature this month!

  4. I know the name and have seen a bit of her work, but I don’t know much about her. I will investigate some of your links!

    The box below won’t let me enter my URL:

  5. She definitely had a very strong, clear aesthetic. Weekends In Maine

  6. Her work is a tad disturbing to me. Wonderful, weird, but disturbing, nonetheless.

  7. Progressive and advanced for her time.
    I enjoy photography but don’t know many photographers so I shall enjoy your posts.

  8. A good start!

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