Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium / The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs

March 15 - July 31, 2016 at The Getty Center

Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium

Robert Mapplethorpe is among the most influential visual artists of the late twentieth century. This major retrospective exhibition reexamines the arc of his photographic work from its humble beginnings in the early 1970s to the culture wars of the 1990s. Featuring portraits, nudes, still lifes, and the controversial X Portfolio, the exhibition explores Mapplethorpe’s studio practice and the creation of his foundation, which has shepherded his legacy into the 21st century.

The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs

In 1973, with the assistance of his lover Robert Mapplethorpe, Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr. (American, 1921–1987) came to realize that photography was an underappreciated and undervalued art form. Over the next decade, Wagstaff assembled one of the most important private collections of photographs in the world. In 1984 he sold it to the J. Paul Getty Museum, where it became part of a group of major acquisitions that formed the Department of Photographs.

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