Media Advisory - Press Preview for "Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs"

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Taylor Dorn
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Press preview for the exhibition “Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs


Friday, April 6

10 a.m. to noon

: 10 a.m.

Remarks: 10:30 a.m.


Smithsonian American Art Museum

Eighth and G Street, NW


Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

John Jacob, the McEvoy Family Curator for Photography, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Diane Arbus (1923–1971) was one of the most original and influential artists of the 20th century. “Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs” forges new ground as the first exhibition to focus on the portfolio Arbus was working on at the end of her life. The exhibition traces the history of A box of ten photographs between 1969 and 1973, telling the story of the portfolio that established the foundation for Arbus’ posthumous career and ushered in photography’s acceptance into the realm of “serious” art.

This heretofore missing piece from Arbus’ biography was as important to her evolving artistic identity as it was to the broader public recognition of photography as a fine-art practice. Central to the transition Arbus was making away from magazine work at the time of her death, the portfolio bridges a lifetime of modest recognition with a posthumous career of extraordinary acclaim. This exhibition sheds new light on this crucial and often overlooked stage in Arbus’ career, as well as on a transformational moment in the history of contemporary photography.

“Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs” is on view from April 6 to Jan. 21, 2019, at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The exhibition is organized by John Jacob, the McEvoy Family Curator for Photography. The museum is the only venue for the exhibition.

Interested media should RSVP to Photographers and film crews are welcome; contact the office in advance to make arrangements. Find additional press materials at

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About the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the home to one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world. Its artworks reveal America’s rich artistic and cultural history from the colonial period to today. The museum’s main building is located at Eighth and F streets N.W., above the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (closed Dec. 25). Its Renwick Gallery, a branch museum dedicated to contemporary craft and decorative arts, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. The Renwick is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. Follow the museum on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Website:

Press Images

  • Press - Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs

    Press - Diane Arbus: A box of ten photographs

    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