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L.A. Museums Nab Mapplethorpe Archive

L.A. Museums Nab Mapplethorpe Archive


More than 2,000 works by legendary gay photographer Robert Mapplethorpe have been acquired by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Trust, which operates Los Angeles's Getty Museum.

The works will be owned jointly by the two West Coast art powerhouses and were provided by a gift from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation as well as money from the David Geffen Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust. The art includes silver gelatin prints, Polaroids, and correspondence. The New York-based Mapplethorpe was known for his powerful black-and-white portraits. The photographer died of AIDS-related complications in 1989 at age 42.

"Because of their depth and breadth, these materials will stand not only as the primary resource on Mapplethorpe, but as a repository for research on a wide variety of topics, including the growing acceptance of photography as an art form and the enormous changes in the art market in the latter part of the 20th century," said Thomas Gaehtgens, director of the Getty Research Institute.

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