Hayward Gallery

diane arbus: in the beginning

13 FEB – 6 MAY 2019

diane arbus: in the beginning

Diane Arbus made most of her photographs in New York City, where she was born and died, and where she worked in locations such as Times Square, the Lower East Side and Coney Island. Her photographs of children and eccentrics, couples and circus performers, female impersonators and midtown shoppers, are among the most intimate, surprising and haunting works of art of the twentieth century. 

Organised by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and adapted for Hayward Gallery, diane arbus: in the beginning takes an in-depth look at the formative first half of Arbus’ career, during which the photographer developed the direct, psychologically acute style for which she later became so widely celebrated. 

The exhibition features more than 100 photographs, the majority of which are vintage prints made by the artist, drawn from the Diane Arbus Archive at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. More than two-thirds of these photographs have never been seen before in the UK. 

Tracing the development of Arbus’ early work with a 35mm camera to the distinctive square format she began using in 1962, the exhibition concludes with a presentation of A box of ten photographs, the portfolio Arbus produced in 1970 and 1971, comprising legendary portraits including Identical twins, Roselle, N.J. 1967 and A Jewish giant at home with his parents in the Bronx, N.Y. 1970.

This exhibition is organised by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Generously supported by Cockayne – Grants for the arts, The London Community Foundation and Alexander Graham with additional support from Michael G and C Jane Wilson.

Image credit:
Jack Dracula at a bar, New London, Conn. 1961 (detail)
9 3/4 × 6 5/8 in. (24.8 × 16.9 cm)
Promised Gift of Doon Arbus and Amy Arbus, 2007
Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York/ Copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC. 
All Rights Reserved.

a genius who made every picture a story ★★★★★
The Guardian
dazzling, curious and chilling ★★★★★
The Telegraph
a superb show ★★★★
Evening Standard

Hayward Gallery opening times

11am – 7pm every day except Tuesdays when the gallery is closed. Late night opening on Thursdays until 9pm.

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Each ticket allows entry to this exhibition and Kader Attia: The Museum of Emotion.

about the Kader Attia exhibition

These exhibitions contain some content that visitors may find upsetting, including nudity and footage of sexual violence and mutilated corpses.

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Visit the exhibition in the company of special guests and Hayward Gallery’s curatorial team. Tours take place on Thursdays at 6.30pm and Saturdays at 2pm, and take approximately 45 minutes.
Free with same-day exhibition ticket.
Saturday 16 February
Karan Rinaldo, Collections Specialist, Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thursday 28 February
Katie Guggenheim, Assistant Curator, Hayward Gallery

Thursday 14 March
Sarah Jones, Reader in Photography, Royal College of Art

Thursday 21 March
Carlotta Pierleoni, Curatorial Intern, Hayward Gallery

Thursday 11 April
Cliff Lauson, Senior Curator, Hayward Gallery

Saturday 27 April
Isabel Stevens, writer and production editor for Sight & Sound

Thursday 2 May
Jeff L. Rosenheim, curator of diane arbus: in the beginning and Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Please note that this tour takes place at 12 noon in addition to the usual 6.30pm tour.

School Groups

Teachers can book free or discounted tickets (call our group ticket line for prices) for a group of up to 30 pupils to visit Hayward Gallery and experience the exhibition on weekdays during exhibition hours (closed Tuesdays).

Private Guided Tours

Looking for a VIP exhibition experience for your group? Private guided tours are available with our experienced Hayward Gallery tour guides. These one-hour tours are available for groups of up to 20 people anytime the gallery is open to the public, and are £100 per group in addition to group exhibition entry.

Group Bookings

Groups of ten people or more can get discounted entry prices for weekday visits when tickets are booked and paid for in advance.
Group Ticket Prices
Adult groups: £12.00
Secondary School, College and University Groups: £5.00 per student (Free tutor tickets when bringing a group of 10+ students)
Primary schools ages 4 –11: Free (Free tutor tickets when bringing a group)
Lambeth & Southwark Schools ages 4 –16: Free
To book a private tour or to make a group booking, call our group ticket line on 020 7960 4225 (Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm) or email groups@southbankcentre.co.uk for more information.

works in focus


The curator of diane arbus: in the beginning and The Met’s Collections Specialist discuss Arbus’ early photographs
Watch a short introduction to the exhibition from Jeff L. Rosenheim

shop diane arbus

Leica Sofort Camera

diane arbus: in the beginning Exhibition Poster

Hadley Small Pro Camera Bag

Camera Black Notebook