December 19, 2007 / 12:19 AM / in 10 years

Photographer Diane Arbus' archive given to NY's Met

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The entire archive of New York photographer Diane Arbus -- known for her images of dwarfs, nudists and carnival performers -- has found a home at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The estate of Arbus, who committed suicide in 1971, is giving her archives to the museum, which will turn it into a resource for scholars and the public, the Met said on Tuesday.

The museum has also purchased 20 of Arbus’ photos from the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco for an undisclosed price.

Her archive includes negatives and contact prints of 7,500 rolls of film, along with hundreds of her early photos, personal papers, correspondence, her photo library and other books, photos by other artists and glassine print sleeves she personally annotated.

“It is rare in any field that one of its greatest practitioners should leave behind her entire output,” Jeff Rosenheim, the museum’s photo curator, said in a statement.

The Met said the archive was similar to that of photographer Walker Evans, which has been at the Met since 1994. “The Metropolitan will now have the opportunity to map the creativity of two great artists in the most complete way,” Rosenheim said.

The Arbus photos bought by the Met include “Russian midget friends in a living room on 100th Street, N.Y.C.” (1963) and “Woman with a veil on Fifth Avenue, N.Y.C.” (1968).

A traveling exhibition of Arbus’ work was presented at the Met in 2005. Nicole Kidman starred as Arbus in the 2006 movie “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus,” which centers on a relationship between Arbus and a fictional character.

Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, editing by Michelle Nichols and Todd Eastham

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