Diane Arbus - Photographs New York Thursday, October 7, 2021 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Gift of the artist to Lawrence Shainberg, late 1960s, early 1970s

  • Literature

    Aperture, Diane Arbus, n.p.
    Arbus, Sussman, Phillips, Selkirk and Rosenheim, Diane Arbus: Revelations, p. 15

  • Catalogue Essay

    This photograph was taken in New York City at the Support Our Men in Vietnam parade in May 1967. Arbus attended many rallies and demonstrations for and against the Vietnam war in the 1960s, drawn to the individuals who allied themselves with either side of the cause. Arbus’s fellow photographer Bob Adelman, who also photographed at these gatherings, observed that Arbus “would never plunge into the crowd like the rest of us who were all going for a sense of immediacy, of grabbing on to the entire vista—we wanted to record the action. But Diane hung back on the fringes—and she’d pick out one face” (quoted in Bosworth, Diane Arbus: A Biography, p. 224). In the years since its making, Patriotic Young Man with a Flag, N.Y.C. has become one of the most recognizable images in Arbus’s oeuvre and demonstrates her ability to create photographs that are simultaneously confrontational and empathetic.

    This rare, signed lifetime print was given by Diane Arbus to her friend, the writer Lawrence Shainberg. Shainberg was close to Marvin Israel, the artist and art director whose relationship with Arbus was formative, and he recounts that Arbus presented this print to him and his wife when Arbus and Israel were guests at a New Year’s party. Signed lifetime prints made by Arbus are rare. As of this writing it is believed that only three other lifetime prints of this image have appeared at auction, only two of those signed by Arbus.

    Throughout Shainberg’s long literary career he has investigated – in novels, non-fiction, and memoirs – many aspects of modern American life. His body of work includes studies on Norman Mailer, Samuel Beckett, and Zen Master Kyudo Nakagawa Roshi, in Four Men Shaking, as well as basketball in the novel One on One, and the medical profession in Brain Surgeon: An Intimate View of his World.

  • Artist Biography

    Diane Arbus

    American • 1923 - 1971

    Transgressing traditional boundaries, Diane Arbus is known for her highly desirable, groundbreaking portraiture taken primarily in the American Northeast during the late 1950s and 1960s. Famous for establishing strong personal relationships with her subjects, Arbus' evocative images capture them in varied levels of intimacy. Whether in their living rooms or on the street, their surreal beauty transcends the common distance found in documentary photography.

    Taken as a whole, Arbus' oeuvre presents the great diversity of American society — nudists, twins, babies, beauty queens and giants — while each distinct image brings the viewer into contact with an exceptional individual brought to light through Arbus' undeniable genius. 

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Patriotic Young Man with a Flag, N.Y.C.

Gelatin silver print, flush-mounted.
14 7/8 x 14 3/4 in. (37.8 x 37.5 cm)
Signed in ink in the margin.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $113,400

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department
+1 212 940 1225


Vanessa Hallett
Deputy Chairwoman, Americas and Worldwide Head of Photographs
+1 212 940 1243


New York Auction 7 October 2021