Diane Arbus was originally born Diane Nemerov on March 14, 1923 to David Nemerov and Gertrude Russek Nemerov. She was the daughter of a wealthy New York businessman. Her family owned Russeks department store on Fifth Avenue, allowing Dian a pampered childhood. As a member of a prominent New York family, she grew up with a strong sense of what was "prohibited" and what was "acceptable" in high society. Diane’s world was a protected one, with little adversity; yet this very lack of adversity made her feel as thou she was living in ungrounded world. As funny and different as it may seem, the ability to have a comfortable life was somehow painful for her. An extremely shy child, she was often fearful but told no one of her scary daydreams and nightmares. From what I gather her closest relationship was with her older brother, Howard.
For Jr. High School, the seventh through the twelfth grade, Arbus attended Fieldstone School in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. At Fieldstone she became interested in public spectacles, rituals, and myths; ideas, which would later influence her photography work. Here she also devoted much of her time and energy to art class sketching, painting, and clay sculpture. During this period of her life, Arbus and several of her friends began exploring the city of New York. On their own they would take the subway, getting off in unfamiliar areas, Brooklyn or the Bronx. They would go out to observe and following interesting or unusual passers. At the young age of 14 Diane met her future husband. Allan Arbus, a 19-year-old City College student who was employed in the art department at Russeks, her father’s store. They say it was love at first sight for the young happy couple. Her parents obviously disapproved, as he was not of the same wealth class. However their disapproval only served to heighten Diane's conviction to marry him. Diane saw in marriage a way to escape from all that was restricting and oppressive in her family life. In...
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