Early Life Diane Nemerov was born to a wealthy family in New York City. Her father, David Nemerov, owned a fashionable Fifth Avenue department store called Russeks, which his wife's family had founded. Diane attended Ethical Culture and Fieldston schools, which were considered to be progressive institutions. At school, Arbus exhibited much creativity, particularly in art class, where she sketched, painted in oils, sculpted, and made collages.