Diane Arbus (née Nemerov, 1923–1971) was brought up in a prosperous New York family until age 18, when she married Allan Arbus. The two began collaborating as fashion photographers in the early 1940s, operating their own business and eventually raising a family of two daughters. By the late 1950s Diane Arbus turned her attention toward personal photographic interests and magazine work.
Like Garry Winogrand and William Eggleston, Arbus worked in public areas such as Central Park and Coney Island. She befriended those who stimulated her artistic vision, gaining the trust necessary to photograph them later in their homes. Sometimes she returned repeatedly to the same residence over the course of years before achieving a picture that satisfied her.
An enthusiast of the quickly disappearing sideshows in New York City, Arbus sought out people on the margins of society. While this driving curiosity has become a major part of her identity as a photographer, Arbus was also adept at presenting the aberrance in otherwise "normal" individuals. Her photographs focus on, emphasize, and embrace difference.