Monday, 23 April 2018

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece at the British Museum

Rodin and his antiquities. © Musée Rodin. Photo: Jean de Calan

Rodin’s love of the Parthenon sculptures revealed

The British Museum show will examine the French artist’s obsession with its most famous exhibits

Martin Bailey
The Art Newspaper
27th September 2017 

Rodin’s love of the sculptures from the Parthenon is to be the subject of a major exhibition at the British Museum next April. The Art Newspaper can reveal that the show will assemble around 100 works by the French artist, which will be presented alongside a dozen Parthenon sculptures from the museum’s collection.

Ian Jenkins, the lead curator, wants visitors to “see the Parthenon sculptures through Rodin’s eyes”. Rodin, the greatest sculptor of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, travelled to London on 15 occasions, probably visiting the British Museum every time to sketch and seek inspiration.

The young Rodin, like most art students of his time, drew from casts, and he copied replicas of the Parthenon sculptures in Paris in the 1860s, when in his early 20s. Some of these drawings will be exhibited in next year’s show. Rodin also acquired several reduced-size Parthenon casts.
Figure K of a goddess from the east pediment of the Parthenon, c. 438–432 BC. Auguste Rodin (1840–1917),The Walking Man, 1907. Bronze, sand cast by Alexis Rudier in 1913. S. 998. © Musée Rodin.

Rodin’s first visit to London was in 1881, when his discovery of the British Museum’s collection proved to be a revelation. In 1902, he said that “I simply haunt the British Museum”. Rodin continued to visit the museum until shortly before his death in 1917.

The museum’s show will be in the Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery, and around a dozen of the Parthenon sculptures (438-432BC) will be moved there from their usual home in the Duveen Gallery. This has only happened on two previous occasions: the West Pediment figure of Ilissos was lent to the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg in 2014 and six sculptures were shown in the British Museum’s 2015 exhibition Defining Beauty: the Body in Ancient Greek Art.

The precise number of Parthenon sculptures going into the Rodin show will be finalised early next year, depending on which Rodin works are confirmed for the display. Visitors will have an unusual opportunity to focus on the sculptures as individual works rather than as part of an ensemble. Although the Greeks continue to lay claim to the Parthenon sculptures in London, the show will provide tangible evidence of the impact they have had on modern European art.

A sculpture, possibly of Hestia, Dione and Aphrodite, from the Parthenon in the British Museum 

The loan list has not yet been finalised, but the British Museum hopes to include all the 13 surviving sketches that Rodin made of the sculptures. These are now all in the Musée Rodin in Paris. Many are quick sketches, such as those done on the notepaper of the artist’s hotel, the Thackeray in Great Russell Street, across the road from the British Museum.

Along with the sketches, there will be around 80 Rodin sculptures, including versions of many of his most important works. Most loans will come from the Musée Rodin, but pieces will also come from other collections.

Rodin never sculpted copies of the Parthenon figures, but instead sought inspiration from them. His famous work depicting a couple embracing, The Kiss (1882), for example, was influenced by a pair of erotic female goddesses originally on the East Pediment of the Parthenon. Rodin owned an 1880s photograph of this pair. The British Museum hopes to borrow a plaster cast version of The Kiss from the Musée Rodin.

Rodin's The Kiss was inspired by the ancient works in the museum's collection 

Jenkins points out that both the Parthenon goddesses and Rodin’s marble Kiss are “carved from a single block of stone”, with one figure melting into another. Both are sensual, although in different ways: “The Kiss famously transmits an erotic charge, whereas the Parthenon figures have diaphanous drapery which thinly veils their bodies and clings to their forms, emphasising the erogenous zones,” he says.

Celeste Farge, the exhibition’s project curator, says that Rodin was fascinated by the damaged headless and limbless bodies of the Parthenon sculptures. They “carried a power of expression that he tried to emulate in his own work”.
Block XLVII (figs. 132–136) of unmounted youths preparing for the cavalcade from the north frieze of the Parthenon, c. 438–432 BC. Auguste Rodin (1840–1917), The Age of Bronze. Bronze, 1877, sand cast before 1916. S. 986. © Musée Rodin. Photo: Christian Baraja.

The British Museum also hopes to borrow The Burghers of Calais (1908) from Victoria Tower Gardens in Westminster, which is cared for by Royal Parks. It will be exhibited with the Procession of Cattle from the South Frieze of the Parthenon. Both sculptures emphasise the inevitability of death.

Rodin never visited Greece, so he missed out on the opportunity to view the half of the sculptures that remained behind in Athens, at that time still on the Parthenon. Had he gone, they would have been high up on the temple, making it impossible to see the powerful details that proved such an inspiration in London (the sculptures were removed for conservation reasons in the 20th century and are now in the Acropolis Museum, which opened in Athens in 2009). But why did Rodin, who was so obsessed with Classical art, never visit Athens? Jenkins believes that Rodin has his own vision and inspiration from ancient Greece and “preferred these dreams to reality”.

• Rodin and the British Museum (working title), 26 April-29 July 2018 (sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch)

Artists’ Rendezvous

Delacroix's sketch of the horse of Selene from a Parthenon sculpture 

Rodin was only one of a host of French artists who were inspired by the Parthenon sculptures (either in the British Museum’s collection or, more often, in the form of casts). Eugène Delacroix sketched the horse of Selene from the East Pediment (around 1825, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Edgar Degas drew a horse from the North Frieze (around 1854, Harvard Art Museums). The horse of Selene also appears in a painting attributed to Paul Gauguin (around 1886, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo).

In 1902, Rodin described the British Museum as the “rendezvous of all artists”. It was not just the Parthenon sculptures which attracted them, but also Egyptian sculptures, Assyrian reliefs and Roman statues. In the early years of the 20th century, avant-garde artists began to explore the non-European collections of the British Museum such as African and Oceanic art.

Rodin and the Art of Ancient Greece

In 1881 the French sculptor Auguste Rodin visited London for the first time. On a trip to the British Museum, he saw the Parthenon sculptures and was instantly captivated by the beauty of these ancient Greek masterpieces.

Like many archaeological ruins, the Parthenon sculptures had been broken and weathered over centuries, but Rodin took inspiration from the powerful expression that they conveyed through the body alone. He even removed the heads and limbs from his own figures to make them closer to the broken relics of the past. By doing so, he created a new genre of contemporary art – the headless, limbless torso.

A hundred years after his death, see a selection of Rodin’s works – including his iconic sculptures The Thinker andThe Kiss – in a new light. This major exhibition will feature original plaster, bronze and marble examples of many of Rodin’s sculptures on loan from the Musée Rodin in Paris. For the first time, they will be shown alongside some of the Parthenon sculptures that the artist so admired, as well as selected objects from his own collection of antiquities.

Experience the magnificent sculpture of a modern master, and explore how the ancient world shaped his artistic vision.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Dead Poets Society #73 John Keats: To Solitude

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To Solitude by John Keats

O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep, --
Nature's observatory -- whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river's crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
'Mongst boughs pavilion'd, where the deer's swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the foxglove bell.
But though I'll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refin'd,
Is my soul's pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Last night's set lists at The Habit, York

Ron Elderly: -
Just My Imagination
Dedicated Follower Of Fashion

Da Elderly: -
In The Morning Light
I'm Just A Loser

The Elderly Brothers: -
Happy Together
The Night Has A Thousand Eyes
You Really Got A Hold On Me
Baby It's You

The Habit was packed with players and punters from the was a lovely warm night in York and I guess people were in need of some entertainment after such a grey and wet start to Spring. Our host kicked off with bass guitar accompaniment (pictured above) and we had sets from all the usual suspects including the newish 3-piece band Small Screen. The Elderly Brothers continued to serenade the audience unplugged after the open mic had finished, with selections from "the book", starting with If Not For You and People Get Ready.

If you are interested, my songs including In The Morning Light can be found on Soundcloud at

Monday, 16 April 2018

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Milos Forman RIP

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Milos Forman, Oscar-Winning Director of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ Dies at 86

Michael Cieply
The New York Times
14 April 2018

LOS ANGELES — Milos Forman, a filmmaker who challenged Hollywood with his subversive touch, and twice directed movies that won the Oscar for best picture, died on Friday. He was 86.

His death was confirmed by Vlastislav Malek, a representative of his hometown, Caslav, in the Czech Republic, and by his wife, Martina Formanova, who told the Czech News Agency that he had died after a short illness in the Connecticut town of Hartford.

A native of what was then Czechoslovakia, Mr. Forman came to the United States in the late 1960s as a rebellious young filmmaker whose satirical bent was little welcomed at home in the wake of the 1968 Soviet invasion.

Just a few years later, Mr. Forman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” — a tragicomic story of revolt and repression in a mental institution — won five Oscars, including those for best director and best picture.

The film put Mr. Forman in the front rank of those who struggled to make big, commercial films with countercultural sensibilities. His sympathy for the odd man out was always apparent, even as his movies grew in scope.

“Amadeus,” a 1984 adaptation of Peter Shaffer’s stage play, presented Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as a genius who undermined authority with his art. Again, Oscars for best director and best picture were among its many honors.

Still, Mr. Forman, by then a United States citizen, said one of his greatest pleasures from the film — which was shot in the Czech Republic — was the chance to return in triumph to his homeland.

“I’ve always done everything in my life to win,” Mr. Forman said of himself in a 1994 biography, which was entitled “Turnaround: A Memoir,” and was written with Jan Novak.

Mr. Forman was caught up in the turmoil of German occupation not many years after his birth, in Caslav, on Feb. 18, 1932. Both his mother, born Anna Suabova, and the man he believed to be his father, a teacher named Rudolf Forman, had been separately seized by the Germans and killed in death camps.

For years, Mr. Forman vaguely told interviewers that he believed himself to be half-Jewish, though both parents attended a Protestant church. It was Mr. Novak, in researching “Turnaround,” who ended the mystery.

After the 1964 release of his first feature film, “Black Peter” — about the misadventures of a teenager beginning his work life — Mr. Forman was contacted by a woman who had been with his mother in Auschwitz, Mr. Novak learned and eventually reported. The woman explained that Mr. Forman was actually the son of a Jewish architect with whom Mr. Forman’s mother had an affair. In time, Mr. Forman found his biological father, who survived the war and was living in Peru.

Raised by foster parents, Mr. Forman attended film school in Prague, and first made his mark with his work on a film and theater presentation at the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition. An early feature, “The Loves of a Blonde,” won attention on the international festival circuit in 1965. Another, “The Firemen’s Ball,” two years later, rubbed Czech officials the wrong way with its spoof of the firefighting bureaucracy, though Mr. Forman was already turning his attention to opportunities abroad.

When the Soviets invaded in August of 1968, Mr. Forman was in Paris negotiating to make a Hollywood film. His first American feature, a youth comedy called “Taking Off,” was released by Universal Pictures in 1971. It did so poorly, Mr. Forman later said, that he wound up owing the studio $500.Photo

Through the early 1970s, Mr. Forman — a hearty bon vivant without means for the good life — went through a period of self-described depression. For much of that time, he holed up in New York’s Chelsea Hotel, sleeping through the days and communicating with émigré friends.

By then, he had been married twice, first to an actress, Jana Brejchova, then to another performer, Vera Kresadlova, who had remained in Czechoslovakia with their two sons, Petr and Matej.

In addition to Ms. Formanova and Petr and Matej, he is survived by his twin sons, James and Andrew, with Ms. Formanova, his third wife.

In his memoir, Mr. Forman said the producers of “Cuckoo’s Nest,” Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz, sought him out because “I seemed to be in their price range.” In fact, they had made a perfect match between filmmaker and material, in this case a cult novel by Ken Kesey.

Jack Nicholson was the movie’s star. But Mr. Forman — who liked to coax star performances out of lesser-known actors — did exactly that with Louise Fletcher, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of the dictatorial Nurse Ratched.

“Hair” and “Ragtime,” which came next, left less impression, but kept Mr. Forman on the list of directors whom executives were willing to trust with their more sophisticated projects. In 1978, meanwhile, Mr. Forman joined Frantisek Daniel, another Czech, as co-director of the film program at Columbia University’s school of the arts.

It was for Mr. Zaentz that Mr. Forman next struck gold, with “Amadeus.” The film won eight Oscars, and Mr. Forman later wrote, left him with a bittersweet, and ultimately correct, sense that his career had peaked.

“Valmont,” based on an 18th-century novel by Pierre Ambroise François Choderlos de Laclos, was overshadowed in 1989 by the previous year’s release of “Dangerous Liaisons,” a film by the director Stephen Frears, which used the same underlying material.

Mr. Forman next made a series of films each of which pushed Hollywood out of its comfort zone.

“The People vs. Larry Flynt” pressed the limits of tolerance for an antihero with its sympathetic portrait of the Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt. Released by Columbia Pictures in 1996, it was a box-office bust, with domestic ticket sales of only about $20 million.

In 1999, “Man on the Moon,” Mr. Forman’s complex portrait of the comic Andy Kaufman and his alter-ego Tony Clifton, did only a little better for Universal Pictures. Yet the film left a mark on Mr. Forman’s personal life. Shortly before its release, he married Martina Zborilova, who had worked with him earlier as a production assistant. He became the father of twin sons, whom the couple named Andrew, for Mr. Kaufman, and James, for Jim Carrey, the movie’s star.

Mr. Forman’s next film, “Goya’s Ghosts,” for Samuel Goldwyn Films, was an intricate examination of persecution in Spain in the era of religious persecution and Napoleonic conquest. The film found a minuscule audience when it was released on American screens in 2007.

But it appeared to play out themes from Mr. Forman’s life, as its heroine, an artist’s model, was imprisoned and tortured because of what were claimed to be her hidden Jewish habits and roots.

In an interview with a writer for The Star Tribune of Minneapolis, Mr. Forman talked of Goya’s vacillation between unfettered expression and a desire to please in terms that recalled a tension between his own artistic urges and the lure of success.

“Torn between protest and preservation,” Mr. Forman said of Goya, “he is the most courageous coward.”

Friday, 13 April 2018

Dead Poets Society #72 Robinson Jeffers: Hurt Hawks

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Hurt Hawks by Robinson Jeffers


The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,

No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.

He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.

He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,

The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.

You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.


I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.

We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
Implacable arrogance.

I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Last night's set lists at The Habit, York

Ron plays Wild Horses

Ron Elderly: -
You Better Move On
Wild Horses

Da Elderly: -
Romancing Tonight
Out On The Weekend

The Elderly Brothers: -
Love Hurts
All My Loving
When Will I Be Loved
I Saw Her Standing There

It was a cold, damp, misty night in York. Nevertheless, there were enough players and punters willing to venture out to the open mic. Occasional visitor Dave from Leeds gave us a medley from Frampton Comes Alive. Regular Deb closed the show with two new self-penned songs. There were some Neil Young fans in the audience, so the after-show jam turned into a bit of a Neil-fest.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs at The Smithsonian

Stephen Frank, Diane Arbus with her photograph Identical twins, Roselle, N.J. 1966, during a lecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970. © Stephen A. Frank

Diane Arbus' daring early work: 'It was a story that went untold, until now'
The photographer’s largely unseen set of 1960s photos focusing on outcasts of society is now on view at the Smithsonian

Nadja Sayej
The Guardian
Mon 9 Apr 2018

In 1970, Diane Arbus was a struggling magazine photographer in New York City. She wanted to make more money, so she put together a series of photos in a plexiglass box, which she called “A box of ten photographs by Diane Arbus”, priced at $1,000.

The photos highlight the outcasts of American society, such as giants, dwarves and transvestites. Arbus’s photos shocked and disgusted art crowds to the point they were spat on when exhibited. As Norman Mailer observed: “Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.”
Stephen Frank, Diane Arbus with her photograph A young Brooklyn family going for a Sunday outing, N.Y.C. 1966, during a lecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970
Stephen Frank, Diane Arbus with her photograph A young Brooklyn family going for a Sunday outing, N.Y.C. 1966, during a lecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970. © Stephen A. Frank

This controversial series, taken from 1962 to 1967, are now on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC. Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs showcases the original photo series – which was purchased from GH Dalsheimer Gallery in 1986 – alongside accompanying ephemera that traces Arbus’s meteoric rise to fame as an art star.

“I was amazed by this body of work, which I had never seen before,” said John Jacob, the curator of the exhibition who stumbled upon Arbus’s series in storage. “My immediate instinct was, ‘We have this treasure, let’s get it up.’”
The series features a photo of identical twins from New Jersey named Cathleen and Coleen Wade, from 1967, which inspired the twin ghosts in Stanley Kubrick’s film The Shining, was referenced in Harmony Korine’s movie Gummo and was recreated by photographer Sandro Miller, with John Malkovich as the model. Arbus’s photo sold for $478,000 in 2004.
Stephen Frank, Diane Arbus with her photograph Retired man and his wife in a nudist camp one morning, N.J. 1963, during a lecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970
Stephen Frank, Diane Arbus with her photograph Retired man and his wife in a nudist camp one morning, N.J. 1963, during a lecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970. © Stephen A. Frank

The series also includes a shot of a nudist couple sitting in their living room – but while we cannot see it, the photographer was also naked. “How does she do it?” asked Irving Penn while reporting on Arbus. “She put a camera between those bare breasts and photographed those nudists.”

Another photo features Eddie Carmel, a Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx. The 1970 photo inspired Carmel’s cousin to make an audio documentary about him in 1999. A print of this photo was sold at auction for $421,000 in 2007.

Though she was a modestly recognized magazine photographer trying make it in the art world, Arbus wasn’t alone. In fact, she was part of a small community of photographers trying to have their photos taken seriously.

“Photography in contemporary art today came from Diane Arbus, she crossed the bridge first from editorial to the museum world,” said Jacob. “She is a pioneer who opened the door of the photograph being a fine artwork that is collectible.”

Diane Arbus, A woman with her baby monkey, N.J. 1971, 1971, gelatin silver print, 14 7/8 x 15 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum; Museum purchase. © The Estate of Diane Arbus

Arbus was known for pushing the traditional boundaries of portraiture to include people who were not accepted in the mainstream. Art critic Susan Sontag wrote of her photographic subjects that they were “pathetic, pitiable, as well as repulsive”.

Arbus never saw her work as perfect, and once compared them to a stain. “My photos are proof that something was there, which no longer is,” she said in 1971. “You can turn away but when you come back, they’ll still be there looking at you.”

This series was special because Arbus curated everything about it. “When she did magazine work, she worked with art directors – they created a narrative out of her work,” said Jacob. “This was the only time she selected her own images, it’s a range of subject matter of her known and some less-known pictures.”
Diane Arbus, Boy with a straw hat waiting to march in a pro-war parade, cover of Artforum, May 1971
Diane Arbus, Boy with a straw hat waiting to march in a pro-war parade, cover of Artforum, May 1971, 10 ½ x 10 ½ in. Smithsonian American Art Museum; Museum purchase. © The Estate of Diane Arbus © Artforum, May 1971, “Five Photographs,” by Diane Arbus. Photo by Mindy Barrett

While the series was meant to be an edition of 50, there were only four editions created before Arbus took her own life in 1971 at age 48. The four were sold to prominent artists and art directors, including Ansel Adams and Jasper Johns.

“Of those four, this is the only one held in a public museum,” said Jacob. “This is the first time it’s been looked at as a portfolio in a public space; our set is the only one she made, sold and gave to a person who was a friend. It has 11 prints, instead of 10.”

The three-room exhibition features more than 50 pieces of ephemera, outlining her background in photography, her inspiration and even her hustle. She shares her excitement of the photos in letters written to her husband, and in letters to fans, where she tries to convince them to buy the box. “It’s an untold story, but an important one to help us understand how we look at photography today,” said Jacob.
Stephen Frank, Diane Arbus with her photograph A family on their lawn one Sunday in Westchester, N.Y. 1968, during a lecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970
Stephen Frank, Diane Arbus with her photograph A family on their lawn one Sunday in Westchester, N.Y. 1968, during a lecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970. © Stephen A. Frank

When she was alive, Arbus was seen as a freakshow photographer, but when she died, she was recognized for finding the divinity in the everyday. Just one year after her death in 1972, Arbus was the first American photographer ever to show at the Venice Biennale. It was a sensation with rave reviews, long lineups and landed her a cover story of Artforum magazine. “It was the thing that propelled her posthumous career,” said Jacob. “Photography in contemporary art today came from this moment.”

Sadly, Arbus didn’t live to see the success of how far these 10 photos took her. “It was a story that went untold, until now,” said Jacob. “This portfolio was the big bang in her career. Even though she is no longer with us, her work is taking on new proportions.”

Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs will be exhibited at the Smithsonian in Washington DC until 21 January

John Gossage, Diane Arbus in Central Park, 1967
John Gossage, Diane Arbus in Central Park, 1967, gelatin silver print, 20 x 24 in. Private Collection. Photo © John Gossage

Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs
APRIL 6, 2018 — JANUARY 21, 2019
Smithsonian American Art Museum (8th and F Streets, NW)

“They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you.”

—Diane Arbus, 1971

In late 1969, Diane Arbus began to work on a portfolio. At the time of her death in 1971, she had completed the printing for eight known sets of A box of ten photographs, of a planned edition of fifty, only four of which she sold during her lifetime. Two were purchased by photographer Richard Avedon; another by artist Jasper Johns. A fourth was purchased by Bea Feitler, art director atHarper’s Bazaar, for whom Arbus added an eleventh photograph.

This exhibition traces the history of A box of ten photographs between 1969 and 1973, using the set that Arbus assembled for Feitler, which was acquired by SAAM in 1986. The story is a crucial one because it was the portfolio that established the foundation for Arbus’s posthumous career, ushering in photography’s acceptance to the realm of “serious” art. After his encounter with Arbus and the portfolio, Philip Leider, then editor in chief of Artforum and a photography skeptic, admitted, “With Diane Arbus, one could find oneself interested in photography or not, but one could no longer. . . deny its status as art. . . . What changed everything was the portfolio itself.”
Stephen Frank, Diane Arbus with her photograph A young man in curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C. 1966, during a lecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970
Stephen Frank, Diane Arbus with her photograph A young man in curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C. 1966, during a lecture at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1970. © Stephen A. Frank

In May 1971, Arbus was the first photographer to be featured in Artforum, which also showcased her work on its cover. In June 1972, the portfolio was sent to Venice, where Arbus was the first photographer included in a Biennale, at that time the premiere international showcase for contemporary artists. SAAM organized the American contribution to the Biennale that year, thereby playing an important early role in Arbus’s legacy.

John Jacob, the McEvoy Family Curator for Photography at SAAM, organized the exhibition. The forthcoming catalogue, copublished with the Aperture Foundation, features an in-depth essay by Jacob that presents new and compelling scholarship correcting errors by Arbus’s biographers and adding significant detail to the period between her death and the 1972 posthumous retrospective at MoMA.