Text by Elisabeth Sussman, Doon Arbus, Jeff L. Rosenheim.
Aperture, 2011. 192 pp., 6½x8".
Diane Arbus: A Chronology is the closest thing possible to a contemporaneous diary by one of the most daring, influential and controversial artists of the twentieth century. Drawn primarily from Arbus' extensive correspondence with friends, family and colleagues, personal notebooks and other unpublished writings, this beautifully produced volume reveals the private thoughts and motivations of an artist whose astonishing vision derived from the courage to see things as they are and the grace to permit them simply to be. Further rounding out Arbus' life and work are exhaustively researched footnotes that amplify the entire chronology. A section at the end of the book provides biographies for 55 family members, friends and colleagues, from Marvin Israel and Lisette Model to Weegee and August Sander. Describing the Chronology in Art in America, Leo Rubinfien noted that “Arbus... wrote as well as she photographed, and her letters, where she heard each nuance of her words, were gifts to the people who received them. Once one has been introduced to it, the beauty of her spirit permanently changes and deepens one's understanding of her pictures.” The texts in Diane Arbus: A Chronology originally appeared in Diane Arbus: Revelations. This volume makes this invaluable material available in an accessible, unique paperback edition for the very first time.