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Robert Mapplethorpe papers and photographs, 1850-2011, bulk 1970-1989

Mapplethorpe, Robert.

Available at Special Collections  SPECIAL COLLECTIONS - CONTACT REFERENCE  (2011.M.20** ) and other locations()

  • Title:
    Robert Mapplethorpe papers and photographs, 1850-2011, bulk 1970-1989
  • Author/Creator: Mapplethorpe, Robert.
  • Creation Date: 1850-2011, bulk 1970-1989
  • Biographical/Historical Note: Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) achieved international fame from his prolific body of approximately 2000 editioned, large-format , black-and-white and color photographs, representing portraits, nudes, flowers, and sadomasochistic subjects. From 1963 to 1969, Mapplethorpe studied at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, where he majored in graphic arts and took courses in painting and sculpture. His early work includes drawings, assemblages, and Polaroids, which are less well known, but represent the foundation for the artist's later, more recognized photographs.
  • Arrangement: Organized in nine series: Series I. Creative work, 1850-2009, undated; Series II. Photographic practice, 1974-2000, undated; Series III. Photographic documentation, 1969-1989, undated; Series IV. Correspondence, 1969-1991, undated; Series V. Exhibition files, 1977-1992, undated; Series VI. Interviews and documentaries, 1980-1989, undated; Series VII. Financial records, 1964-1995; Series VIII. Collections and miscellaneous items, 1850-1989, undated; Series IX. Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation records, 1989-2011, undated.
  • Physical Desc.: 317 linear feet ( 311 boxes, 13 flatfiles, 3 rolls) + 1 box (ADD3).
    5 videodiscs (DVD) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. original..
    42 videocassettes (VHS) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. original..
    2 film reels: sd., col. ; 16 mm. original..
    CD-ROMs. original..
    17 videocassettes of 17 (Digital Betacam) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in. copy masters..
    1 videodisc (DVD) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in. use copy..
  • Summary: The collection spans Robert Mapplethorpe's career from his early drawings, collages and jewelry to his photographic work through the 1980s. The photographic material in the archive includes Polaroids, commercial commissions, test shots, and non-editioned prints from the same photo sessions as his editioned prints. Also included in the archive are films, personal and professional correspondence, studio documents, interviews, clippings, exhibition files, financial records and collected items.
    Series I, Creative work, represents Mapplethorpe's creative output and the artworks that he acquired from others. Works by Mapplethorpe include photographs, Polaroids, three-dimensional objects, drawings, paintings, and cut-outs. Most photographs are gelatin silver prints and are predominantly self-portraits or portraits of Mapplethorpe's contemporaries such as Patti Smith, Sam Wagstaff, David Croland, Marianne Faithfull, Judy Linn, and Ruth Kligman. Works by other artists are mostly photographs of Mapplethorpe, and some photographs also feature Patti Smith, Sam Wagstaff, David Croland, Lisa Lyon, Francesco and Alba Clemente, Nick Rhodes, and Keith Haring. Other artists include Robert Amft, Brian English, Lynn Davis, Judy Linn, Norman Seeff, and Herlinde Koebel. Also included are approximately 1,000 non-editioned prints, commissioned and commercial work, jewelry, films, and three portfolios featuring some of his earlier prints.
    Series II, Photographic practice, documents how Mapplethorpe worked as a photographer. Included are 3,164 Polaroids that he took as test shots for his editioned prints, an index card inventory of 2,080 prints, model release forms, shooting books that were used to record editioned print information, and three spiral notebooks consisting of 418 Polaroid test shots.
    Series III, Photographic documentation, comprises photographs documenting Mapplethorpe's work. Included are gallery installation shots, Polaroids, and slides.
    Series IV, Correspondence, includes both Mapplethorpe's personal and professional correspondence with friends, models, clients, museums, galleries, and fans. Correspondents include Sam Wagstaff, Lisa Lyon, John McKendry, and Patti Smith. All correspondence from Patti Smith to Robert Mapplethorpe is sealed for her lifetime.
    Series V, Exhibition files, contains files related to exhibitions that took place during Mapplethorpe's lifetime. Documents include exhibition reports, press materials, ephemera, posters, and related videos.
    Series VI contains several documentaries and interviews with Mapplethorpe and others.
    Administrative and financial records in Series VII document Mapplethorpe's studio operations.
    Series VIII, Collections and miscellaneous items, consists of Mapplethorpe's personal photograph collection of daguerreotypes, vintage pornography, ephemera, his zodiac chart, and other miscellaneous items.
    Series IX comprises materials that the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation created and collected after the artist's death in 1989. Files include correspondence with museums, galleries, and publishers; exhibition files and administrative records; and 27 boxes of collected press clippings related to the censorship controversy and trial in Cincinnati in the early 1990s. Also included are videos of news footage and press coverage of the controversy.
  • Language: English
  • Notes: Boxes 1-69, Rolls 1 and 2, Flat files 1-3: Gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Remainder of collection: Gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
  • Form/Genre: Assemblages (sculpture) -- United States -- 20th century
    Collages (visual works) -- United States -- 20th century
    Diffusion transfer prints -- United States -- 20th century
    Drawings (visual works) -- United States -- 20th century
    Dye diffusion transfer prints -- United States -- 20th century
    DVDs -- United States -- 20th century
    Experimental film -- United States -- 20th century
    Gelatin silver prints -- United States -- 20th century
    Nudes (representations) -- United States -- 20th century
    Photographs, Original
    Portraits -- United States -- 20th century
    Posters -- United States -- 20th century
    Self-portraits -- United States -- 20th century
    Still lifes -- United States -- 20th century
    Videotapes -- United States -- 20th century
    Born digital
  • Subjects: Clemente, Francesco, 1952- Clemente, Alba Croland, David Faithfull, Marianne Haring, Keith Kligman, Ruth Linn, Judy Lyon, Lisa Mapplethorpe, Robert Rhodes, Nick, 1962- Smith, Patti Wagstaff, Samuel J., Jr., 1921-1987 Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation African American men -- Photographs Artists -- United States -- 20th century Bodybuilders -- Photographs Celebrities -- Portraits Censorship -- United States -- History -- 20th century Fetishism in art Gay men -- Photographs Flowers -- Photographs Photographers -- United States -- 20th century Photography, Artistic Photography, Erotic Photography of the nude Portrait photography -- United States -- 20th century Sadomasochism -- Photographs Sadomasochism in art Women bodybuilders -- Photographs
  • Contributors: Amft, Robert, 1916-2012. Davis, Lynn, 1944- English, Brian, 1963- Koelbl, Herlinde. Linn, Judy. McKendry, John. Seeff, Norman. Smith, Patti. Wagstaff, Samuel J., Jr., 1921-1987. Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
  • ID/Accession Number: 2928-660
  • Access/Rights: Open for use by qualified researchers with the following exceptions. Polaroid test shots in Series II.D. are currently being digitized and are unavailable until digitization is complete. Audiovisual material is unavailable until it is reformatted. Several fragile items are restricted pending conservation treatment, as indicated in the container list of the finding aid. Sensitive material is sealed for the period of time indicated in the finding aid. Letters from Patti Smith to Mapplethorpe are sealed for Smith's lifetime. This collection contains content that may be offensive to some viewers and inappropriate for children.
  • OCLC Record Number: 816406628
  • Source: GRI Library Catalog

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