There is a fascinating article in the "New York Sun" about curator Jeff Rosenheim of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his handling of the Walker Evans archive.
It gives some indication of his working methods, and the challenges he faced bringing order to a chaotic, but vitally important, piece of photographic history. The "Sun" reports, “It took six years, from the time the Met acquired it in 1994 until 2000, for the Evans Archive database to become accessible, and it was not until late last year that it was accessible online.”
As has been mentioned in this blog, the Arbus Estate donated Arbus’s holdings to the Met last December. Rosenheim, presumably, will be charged with organizing and cataloging the Arbus material, much as he did with Walker Evans. It may take years, but at some point – after decades of strict and restrictive control by the Estate – the Arbus archive will be available for scholarly use and occasional public exhibition. Perhaps there will be similar online access to the Arbus database at the Met.
We can only hope that by then Phillips de Pury & Company will have resolved their issues with Robert Langmuir, and that the Hubert’s archive will have found its way back to the rest of the Arbus materials. Then Jeff Rosenheim will be able to assemble that Hubert’s-Arbus exhibition he told Bob about.
I, for one, can hardly wait.