Russian Midget Friends in a Living Room on 100th Street, NYC

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Russian Midget Friends in a Living Room on 100th Street, NYC

Edition: 44/75
United States, 1963, printed 1972
Photographs
Gelatin-silver print
Unframed: 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.64 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation (M.91.80.1)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

Three Russian midgets sit in a living room, posed for the camera....
Three Russian midgets sit in a living room, posed for the camera. The home environment to which the photographer has gained admittance and the subjects' direct stares imply a equitable relationship with the photographer. At the same time, the awkwardness of their circumstances and the vulnerability of their open countenances, the man's in particular, create a gulf of emotion between them and the viewer—the intimacy feels like intrusion. Diane Arbus did not include the names of the sitters in the caption for this image. She photographed them as representatives of difference rather than as individuals.
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