Untitled (4)

Accession Number

Untitled (4)

Diane Arbus

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

12 ½ in x 12 ⅜ in (31.75 cm x 31.43 cm);28 3/16 in x 22 3/16 in (71.6 cm x 56.36 cm);20 in x 16 ⅛ in (50.8 cm x 40.96 cm);28 3/16 in x 22 3/16 in (71.6 cm x 56.36 cm);28 3/16 in x 22 3/16 in (71.6 cm x 56.36 cm);20 in x 16 ⅛ in (50.8 cm x 40.96 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
Known for her images of people who inhabit the fringes of “normal” society, Arbus sympathetically—and unflinchingly— photographed transvestites, dwarves, giants, and nudists. Arbus was raised in New York, and, like Paul Strand earlier in the century, attended the Ethical Culture School. She later studied with the influential photographer Lisette Model. The searing frankness with which she observed those marginalized members of society made her psychologically penetrating portraits at once strangely unnerving and richly humanistic.
Carole McNamara, Assistant Director for Collections & Exhibitions
on the occasion of the exhibition New York Observed: The Mythology of the City
(July 13 – September 22, 2003)

Subject matter
In this image, four people don costumes and masks and pose for the photographer in a flat grassy field. The focus is on the subjects who stand side-by-side, perfectly aligned, forming a flat plane in the foreground. With a shallow depth of field, the well-articulated outline and texture of their bodies and sartorial details cut sharply against the blurry treeline that marks the horizon and the wispy clouds that occupy the murky sky. 

Physical Description
Four people donning costumes and masks standing in the foreground of a large grassy field. 

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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children (people by age group)
masks (costume)
mentally handicapped
modern and contemporary art

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& Author Notes

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