Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C.

Artist: Diane Arbus (American, New York 1923–1971 New York)

Date: 1962

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: Image: 39.5 x 38.3 cm (15 9/16 x 15 1/16 in.)
Sheet: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, Jennifer and Joseph Duke Gift, 2001

Accession Number: 2001.474

Rights and Reproduction: Copyright © 1970 The Estate of Diane Arbus


An iconic image that embodies the awkward tension between childhood tomfoolery and primal violence, this has become one of the most celebrated photographs in the history of the medium. America's historic transition from the complacent isolationism of the 1950s to the sociopolitical turmoil that would emerge in the late 1960s and 1970s seems to seethe beneath the surface of this image, underscoring Arbus' prescience and intuitive understanding of her time.