Last Word: Bending the Lens

Teaching Students to Look Deeper

For years I’ve been introducing students in my college-level fine-arts courses to the photographs of Diane Arbus (1923–71). Old friends of mine by now, the images created by this “photographer of freaks” have intrigued me since I was an undergraduate myself. There’s the frustrated little boy in Central Park clutching a toy grenade and looking as if someone’s pulled the pin on his own explosive core; the circus giant folded origami-style into his terrified...

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About the Author

Michael E. DeSanctis is professor of fine arts and director of the Honors Program at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. He writes widely as a designer/consultant on Catholic church architecture and is the author of Building from Belief: Advance, Retreat, and Compromise in the Remaking of Catholic Church Architecture (Liturgical Press, 2004).