Photographer Amy Arbus is a native New Yorker known for portraits and her fashion feature, On The Street, which ran in The Village Voice from 1980-1990. Her photographs are in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, The New York Public Library, and The National Theater in Norway. Amy Arbus’ images have been published in her five books and in periodicals such as New York Magazine, People, Aperture and The New York Times Magazine. She has had 36 one-person exhibitions around the world and is represented by The Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In 2018 she will exhibit her Tub series, which is comprised of previously unknown, nude self-portraits created during a 1992 master class with Richard Avedon.

Public Collections

Richard Avedon Foundation, New York, NY; The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio; The Madonna Archive, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The New York Public Library, New York, NY; The National Theatre, Oslo, Norway; Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, Kansas

Book and Magazine Covers

The New York Times Magazine
Spalding Gray: Monster in a Box
Thirteen Program Guide


American Photo: Top Workshops 2008
PDN Annual: Top 25 Photographs 2007
American Photo: Best Books 2006
 Lucie Award: Best Books 2007
Communication Arts: Best Books 1999


After Images, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA, 2013
The Fourth Wall, Welcome Books, New York, NY, 2008
On the Street, Welcome Books, New York, NY, 2006
The Inconvenience of Being Born, Fotofolio, Inc., New York, NY, 1999
No Place Like Home, Doubleday & Co., Garden City, New York, 1986

RITES and RITUALS (See the full Rites and Rituals portfolio HERE)

THE FOURTH WALL  (See the full Fourth Wall portfolio HERE)


ON THE STREET (See the full On The Street portfolio HERE)


AFTER IMAGES (See the full After Images portfolio HERE)




THE OUTSIDERS (See the full Outsiders portfolio HERE)

TUBS (An Upcoming Exhibition)

It wasn’t until my toe hit the water that it dawned on me why I was there. The process itself was so awkward and consuming. I was completely distracted by the logistics of mounting the camera and tripod on the bathroom sink, pre-setting the focus, exposure, and camera angle that I wasn’t thinking about the significance of what I was doing. It was 1992 and I was there to revisit a scene I’d never witnessed.


I thought about what it must have looked like almost obsessively at first, but it had been twenty-one years since it happened. And I had taken many baths since then. As many people know, my mother took her own life in a bathtub. But then, we all have our traumas in life.


When I developed the film, I realized how little I knew about how the pictures would look. I had used a cable release to trip the shutter, but the camera was set to a ten second delay so I could get back in the water. Even though the camera never moved, I had no way of predicting how much or how little was in the frame.


These photographs taught me that pictures are never the same as the experience of making them, they fail if they are merely what you intended, and that mistakes can lead to discoveries. But most importantly, they convinced me that thoughts and feelings register on film, and therefore have the power to change the way people perceive themselves, each other, and the world.


-Amy Arbus