Mildred Dunnock, N.Y.C.

1964, Printed later
Silver Gelatin Photograph

The ‘A Diane Arbus Photograph’ stamp, signed, titled, dated, and editioned in ink by Doon Arbus, the photographer’s daughter, and with the copyright and reproduction rights stamps on the reverse. Printed posthumously by Neil Selkirk

Frame: 27 x 25 5/8 inches

Diane Arbus’s photograph “Mildred Dunnock, N.Y.C.” captures actress Mildred Dunnock in a moment of contemplation within a New York City park. Dunnock, known for her acclaimed performances on stage and screen, appears dignified and composed, adorned in a shin-length fur coat, flats, makeup, and a necklace. Arbus’s lens not only captures Dunnock’s external appearance but also hints at the depth of her character and the stories she might embody.

Mildred Dunnock was a highly respected actress renowned for her versatility and emotional depth. She garnered critical acclaim for her roles in theater productions and films, including her memorable performance as Linda Loman in the original Broadway production of “Death of a Salesman” alongside Lee J. Cobb and Arthur Kennedy.

Arbus’s fascination with capturing individuals in parks reflects her interest in documenting the diverse tapestry of human experience within urban environments. Parks serve as communal spaces where people from all walks of life converge, offering Arbus a rich tableau of subjects to photograph. Her approach to photographing people in parks allowed her to capture candid moments of introspection, connection, and vulnerability, revealing the intricacies of human emotion and existence.

In “Mildred Dunnock, N.Y.C.,” Arbus skillfully navigates the intersection of public and private realms, offering viewers a glimpse into the inner world of her subject while also highlighting the theatricality of everyday life. Through her lens, she invites us to contemplate the complexity of human identity and the narratives that unfold within the bustling streets of New York City.