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frank murphy’s store (former)

from gordon parks posted in art and design by donkeyoti

The American photographer, musician, writer and film director, Gordon Parks, got his photographic career started when he walked into Frank Murphy's department store and asked if they needed a photographer.

Although Frank Murphy turned him down, Mrs. Murphy overheard the conversation and decided to give Gordon Parks a chance. After a stilted start (he accidentally shot all the photos with double exposure), his photographs were a success and featured throughout the store.

His career began shortly after, and Parks later became a photographer for the Farm Security Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, Life magazine and several other publications. In 1971, he directed the film Shaft.

Today, the location is a restaurant called Pazzaluna.

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diane arbus apartment

from diane arbus posted in art and design by donkeyoti

According to the book Hubert's Freaks, Diane Arbus lived at this location while photographing sideshow acts at Hubert's Museum between 1959 and 1965. She wrote her address in the contact book of the sideshow's talker, R.C. Lucas, and there are many Arbus photographs from this era that have not been released commercially because of the Arbus estate restrictions.

Although Jack Dracula worked at Hubert's, this photo was taken outside of New London, CT, where he was working as a tattoo artist. Dracula later stated that little of Arbus's description of him in the article "The Full Circle", Harper's Bazaar, November 1961, was true.

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the new school for social research

from diane arbus, lisette model posted in art and design by donkeyoti

In 1951, photographer Lisette Model was invited to teach at the New School for Social Research in New York City, where her colleague Berenice Abbott was also teaching photography.

Model's best known pupil was Diane Arbus, who studied under her in 1957.

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hubert’s museum

from diane arbus posted in art and design by donkeyoti

Hubert's Museum (or Hubert's Flea Circus, or Hubert's Sideshow) was a year-round, indoor sideshow located in Times Square. Opened in 1926 and closing in 1965, the entertainment at Hubert's was a mixture of "born freaks" and "made freaks."

By the time that photographer Diane Arbus started hanging out there, the sideshow at Hubert's had been relegated to the seedy basement of the building. Visitors were shuttled from one act to the next, forced to pay for each unusual curiosity.

Arbus met many of her photograph subjects here, spending time to get to know them individually. Eddie Carmel (from Arbus's A Jewish Giant at Home with His Parents in The Bronx, N.Y. 1970) was the World's Tallest Cowboy at Hubert's. Andy Ratoucheff (from Arbus's Russian midget friends in a living room on 100th Street, N.Y.C., 1963) performed as Andy Potato Chips at Hubert's.

The "freaks" there were friends- colleagues in the entertainment business who supported each other.

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club 82

from diane arbus posted in art and design by donkeyoti

Located in the basement, downstairs from a simple, nondescript door in the East Village of Manhattan, is Club 82. From 1958 to 1972, Club 82 was a female-impersonator/drag cabaret that was very popular among the gay community (it still has its own fan site). The club also attracted celebrities: David Bowie, Lou Reed, Blondie, and the New York Dolls all hung out here.

Diane Arbus frequented Club 82 to take photographs and to meet people she could shoot. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Arbus did not favor capturing snapshot portraits of her subjects. She would spend weeks, months, and sometimes years becoming acquainted with her subjects before getting the photo she wanted.

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