Hubert's Freaks

The Rare-Book Dealer, the Times Square Talker, and the Lost Photos of Diane Arbus

By Gregory Gibson
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780151012336, 288pp.)

Publication Date: April 1, 2008

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Description

Bob Langmuir is an obsessive dealer with a remarkable eye for treasure who makes the discovery of a lifetime when he chances upon a trove of never-before-seen prints by the legendary Diane Arbus. From the moment he purchases a trunk containing the archive of Hubert’s Dime Museum and Flea Circus—a midcentury Times Square freak show frequented by Arbus—and discovers some intriguing photographs, he knows he’s on to something. Furthermore, he begins to suspect that what he’s found may add a pivotal chapter to what is now known about Arbus and the “old weird America,” in Greil Marcus’s phrase, that Hubert’s inhabited.

Langmuir’s ensuing adventure, filled with bizarre coincidences, turns into a roller-coaster ride that takes him from memorabilia shows to the curator’s office at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Will the photos be authenticated? How will the Arbus estate react? most important, can Bob, who has seen more than a few promising deals head south, finally make his one big score?




About the Author

GREGORY GIBSON is the author of the critically acclaimed Gone Boy: A Walkabout and Demon of the Waters: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Whaleship Globe. An antiquarian-book dealer, he lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

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