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Two ladies at the automat, N.Y.C. 1966

Diane Arbus American

Not on view

Diane Arbus likely encountered the subjects here in the same Horn & Hardart restaurant in New York frequented by the American Surrealist, Joseph Cornell, who had a sweet tooth and appreciated their fruit pies and inexpensive chicory coffee. Arbus had photographed inside the Automat (a coin-operated cafeteria) for some eight years before she met these two women wearing impressive pillbox hats—not identical twins or likely even sisters but perfectly matched, harmonious members of a close-knit community.

Two ladies at the automat, N.Y.C. 1966, Diane Arbus (American, New York 1923–1971 New York), Gelatin silver print

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