Arthur Lubow

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Arthur Lubow (born September 18, 1952) is a journalist who has written for national magazines since 1975 and is the author of Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer (2016).

Early life and education[edit]

Lubow grew up in the Bronx and attended the Bronx High School of Science. At Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1974, he was managing editor of The Harvard Crimson. He studied at Cambridge University on a Knox Fellowship from autumn 1974 to spring 1975.


Lubow began his career as a staff writer for New Times, a now defunct general interest biweekly; he wrote there about a wide array of subjects, including New German cinema,[1] genetic engineering[2] and President Ford’s environmental policy.[3]

He was a senior writer at People from 1981 to 1985, where his profile subjects included Oliver Sacks, John Travolta, Paul Theroux, Brian Eno and Pauline Kael.

A contributing editor at Vanity Fair from 1985 to 1987, he mainly wrote stories on writers, including Gay Talese, Gore Vidal and Stephen Hawking.

When Tina Brown left Vanity Fair as the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair for The New Yorker, he was part of a small group of writers asked to accompany her. He worked as a staff writer at The New Yorker from 1992 to 1993, and continued thereafter to contribute to the magazine as a freelancer, on subjects that include the playwright Tony Kushner, biographical film projects on Jackson Pollock, and the creation of an advertising campaign for Stolichnaya vodka.

From 2002 to 2014, Lubow was a contributing writer at The New York Times Magazine, writing mainly on cultural topics, including the artist Takashi Murakami, the chef Ferran Adria, the conductors Valery Gergiev and Gustavo Dudamel, the composer Arvo Part, the photographer Jeff Wall, the novelist Penelope Fitzgerald, the architects Rem Koolhaas, Thom Mayne, Jean Nouvel and SANAA, and the battle between Yale University and Peru over artifacts from Machu Picchu.

He has also written frequently for Smithsonian, Departures, W and The Threepenny Review.[4]

Lubow wrote the first American feature story on the now legendary English singer-songwriter Nick Drake in 1978.[5] His earlier book, The Reporter Who Would Be King: A Biography of Richard Harding Davis, was published by Scribners in 1992. He has contributed to books on the artist Liza Lou[6] and the writer W.G. Sebald.[7]

In 2016 Ecco Press published Lubow's book Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer.[8] The book grew out of a cover story on Arbus that appeared in The New York Times Magazine in September 2003.[9]

In 2018, he wrote an essay, "On Shame," in which he discussed the interrelatedness between pride and shame in the context of his identity as a gay man.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Lubow lives in New York City and East Haddam, Connecticut, with his partner, a clinical psychologist.


  • Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer. New York: Ecco Press, 2016. ISBN 978-0-06-223432-2.

Honors and awards[edit]

  • 1984: National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship[citation needed]
  • 1999: James Beard Award, "Journalism - Magazine Restaurant Review or Critique" category[11]
  • First Prize of the Spanish Academy of Gastronomy in 2003.[citation needed]
  • Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities[citation needed]
  • 2013-14: Fellow at the Center for Writers and Scholars at the New York Public Library[citation needed]


  1. ^ “Cinema’s New Wunderkinder,” New Times, November 14, 1975.
  2. ^ “Playing God with DNA,” New Times, January 7, 1977.
  3. ^ “Ford Against Nature,” New Times, December 26, 1975.
  4. ^ "Arthur Lubow: List of selected writings with citations & links to texts". Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  5. ^ “Remember Nick Drake,” New Times, May 1, 1978.
  6. ^ Liza Lou. Skira Rizzoli. 2011.
  7. ^ “Crossing Boundaries,” in Lynne Sharon Schwartz, ed. The Emergence of Memory: Conversations with W. G. Sebald, Seven Stories Press, 2007.
  8. ^ O'Hagan, Sean (25 October 2016). "Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer review – a disturbing study". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  9. ^ Lubow, Arthur (2003-09-14). "Arbus Reconsidered". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  10. ^ "On Shame," The Threepenny Review No. 153 (Spring 2018). Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  11. ^

External links[edit]