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Hubert's Freaks: The Rare-Book Dealer, the Times Square Talker, and the Lost Photos of Diane Arbus Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
In addition to the main story of how Langmuir came to acquire the Arbus photos, his trials and tribulations in authenticating them, and the circuitous route to making a profit from them, there is the equally fascinating side stories of the people of Hubert's Museums. The "freaks", some with their own physical anomalies, others with an ability to tantalize the shadow-side of Americans willing to trade 25 cents for a few minutes in their presence.
This is the sort of book that you start wondering what you will find and finish wondering where you have been --- a world of freaks and the photos that immortalize them from a time that seems long ago but is as close as the world wide web. Fascinating.
Gregory Gibson is the perfect guide to the strange world where freaks and Fine Art collide. He gives not only an overview of how the value of Fine Art by recognized masters has appreciated, and how the market in its ever thirsting quest for new objects to invest in has began to attach the same values to Fine Art Photography, but he is also able to zoom in on Bob, an enigmatic and eccentric collector, and describe how his acquisitions relate to the bigger picture:
"By the same subtle principle that enabled Star Wars characters to detect disruptions in the Force, the gravity of twenty-one newly authenticated Arbus photographs altered the fabric of the universe."
Gregory Gibson is also an adept amateur psychologist, and describes a multitude of characters, always with empathy and evenhandedness. Although his main allegiance is to Bob, he also gives Bob's wife Jan's point of view as they go through a messy divorce. He even enters the narrative himself when he assists Bob in trying to negotiate for some Hubert's material that may have belonged to Woogie, the snake dancer.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very entertaining and informative read if you are a lover of off-beat photography, horse trading, treasure hunting, detective work and sideshows. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tmac
This book is NOT about Hubert's, not at all: It's about the crook who lied to people to get them to fork over Dianne Arbus photos that they didn't realize they had..... but he did. Read morePublished 1 month ago by James Taylor
I once visited the Hubert Museum. However, I found this book rather tame. Falls short of my expectation and is definitely not the best book on the subject of freaks.Published 20 months ago by Giovanni Iuliani
A compulsive page-turner. I really didn't want it to end. And I wish I could go back in time and visit Hubert's Museum again.Published on February 13, 2014 by Leticia
A fantastic read. I've bought a few copies since I first read it and have given them to photo history buffs.Published on November 29, 2013 by Jill
The parts about the Hubert's freak show and its denizens and about Diane Arbus are fascinating. But the endless pages covering the mental problems and indecision of the bookseller... Read morePublished on January 18, 2013 by Richard H. Cady
I loved this story until about 3/4 of the way through, when it suddenly shifted the voice from 3rd person to first. Disconcerting. Read morePublished on December 29, 2012 by bookmiller