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  • Writer's pictureLee Barber

An exhibition from one of the worlds most revered photographers opens in Barnsley!

This weekend saw the launch of a touring Diane Arbus exhibition at Barnsley Civic, one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century.

ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland © The Estate of Diane Arbus

The exhibition is housed within Barnsley Civic's main gallery until the Spring, and is the perfect opportunity to appreciate someone who played a pivotal role in shaping the photography industry, all whilst providing a platform to celebrate “things as they are”.

Born in 1923 in New York, Diane Arbus is widely considered to be a pioneer of the social documentary method of photography that blurred the line between art and reportage.

Her work records her love of diversity and capturing moments that personified the variety of attitudes, culture, lifestyle and appearances across society.

The body of work on show also provides a wonderful snapshot into the importance of trust and respect between photographer and subject; something Arbus held of great importance whilst capturing images of families, circus performers, nudists and eccentrics.

Diane Arbus. Image from

Documenting the life of Arbus’ early work with a 35mm camera from the mid-1950s to the distinctive square format she began using in 1962, the exhibition also includes a presentation of 'A box of ten photographs', a rare portfolio of original prints which Arbus produced shortly before her death by suicide in 1971.

The exhibition is proudly part or ‘Artist Rooms’, a collaboration which presents work from international artists drawn from a tour collection owned by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland. Barnsley Civic is the inaugural stop for this particular tour, and the only venue in the north of England to host the exhibition.

Entry: Free

Date: 21 January - 16 April (Main Gallery)

More details about what's on at Barnsley Civic here:


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