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Between Intention and Effect

Between Intention and Effect

(p.1) Introduction Between Intention and Effect
Diane Arbus's 1960s
Frederick Gross
University of Minnesota Press

This introductory chapter first sets out the book’s purpose, namely to offer a sustained critical analysis of the photography of Diane Arbus by situating it in relation to the history of the photographic “social gallery” and exploring the nature of her relationship to this type of portrait collection. What is here defined as the social gallery refers to a group of portraits arranged by the photographer in agreement with an organizing principle measured by a specific set of social conditions that varied historically and were accordant with different popular pseudoscientific theories about reading the body according to typology. The chapter then reviews Arbus’s works, followed by discussions of the beginnings of positivism and photography as well as the changing scholarly discourse on positivism in portrait photography.

Keywords:   Diane Arbus, women photographers, social gallery, portraits, positivism, portrait photography

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