As featured in last Friday’s New York Times (free registration required), there is a new retrospective of Diane Arbus’ spooky photography currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum after touring several other US cities. Baby-rearing blog DaddyTypes points out a centerpiece of that collection is a portrait of Gloria Vanderbilt’s infant son, Anderson Cooper. Yes, CNN’s own Anderson Cooper.
The portrait, shot for Harper’s Bazaar, is described in Patricia Bosworth’s Arbus biography:
“To dispel the growing myth that [Arbus] only took pictures of freaks, she made up a list of elegant people she wanted to photograph…As if to prove her point, she took a remarkable portrait of Gloria Vanderbilt’s sleeping baby son, Anderson Hays Cooper, for a Harper’s Bazaar Valentine issue. In this truly astonishing picture, the infant resembles a flat white death’s head — eyes sealed shut, moth pursed and moist with saliva. When Gloria Vanderbilt saw the photograph, she forbade Bazaar to publish it, but eventually she changed her mind and this stunning image opened Diane’s retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1972.”