There was a major announcement this week – the heirs of photographer Diane Arbus have arranged for The Metropolitan to own her archives through a part gift/part print-purchase arrangement, as noted in this article in the New York Times published yesterday. Click here to read the press release from the Met. This is wonderful news as the materials will be preserved and shared; in due time we can look forward to learning much about Arbus’ creativity, its roots and her thoughts stated in her diaries.
As Jeff L. Rosenheim, curator in the Met’s department of photographs stated in the Times piece, “Generally this kind of material doesn’t survive the artist.”
For future generations of artists, curators, critic and more, the more completely annotated your archive the better. It is important to consider how, and by whom, your work may or may not be presented, printed and/or licensed posthumously. Once again I remind all artists to take good care of their photographic materials and related papers, correspondence and other notations. A detailed archive is an extraordinary gift to many!