Pratt Institute, 200 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11205, Stati Uniti
Hotel Chelsea, 222 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011, Stati Uniti
35 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010, Stati Uniti
24 Bond St, New York, NY 10012, Stati Uniti
St. John Cemetery, Middle Village, Queens, NY, Stati Uniti
Robert Mapplethorpe (November 4, 1946 – March 9, 1989) was an American
photographer, known for his sensitive yet blunt treatment of controversial
subject-matter in the large-scale, highly stylized black and white medium of
photography. His work featured an array of subjects, including celebrity
portraits, male and female
self-portraits and still-life images of flowers. His most controversial work
is that of the
scene in the late 1960s and early 1970s of
New York City. The
homoeroticism of this work fuelled a national debate over the public
funding of controversial artwork.
Mapplethorpe was born in
Floral Park, Queens, New York City, the son of Joan Dorothy (Maxey) and
Harry Irving Mapplethorpe, an electrical engineer.
He was of
German descent, and grew up as a
Roman Catholic in Our Lady of the Snows Parish. He had five brothers and
He studied for a
Bachelor of Fine Arts from the
Pratt Institute in
where he majored in Graphic Arts,
though he dropped out in 1969 before finishing his degree.
Mapplethorpe lived with his close friend
Smith from 1967 to 1972, and she supported him by working in bookstores.
They created art together, and maintained a close relationship.
Mapplethorpe took his first photographs in the late 1960s or early 1970s
Polaroid camera. In 1972 he met art curator
Wagstaff who would become his mentor and lifetime companion. In the
mid-1970s Wagstaff acquired a
Hasselblad medium-format camera and Mapplethorpe began taking photographs
of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, including artists, composers,
and socialites. During this time, he became friends with
George Dureau, whose work had such a profound impact on Mapplethorpe that
he restaged many of Dureau's early photographs. From 1977 until 1980,
Mapplethorpe was the lover of writer and
Drummer magazine editor
who introduced him to
By the 1980s Mapplethorpe's subject matter focused on statuesque male and
female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and highly formal portraits of
artists and celebrities. Mapplethorpe's first studio was at 24
Bond Street in Manhattan. In the 1980s, Wagstaff bought a top-floor loft
at 35 West 23rd Street for Robert, which he lived in and used as his shooting
He kept the Bond Street loft as his darkroom. In 1988, Mapplethorpe selected
Patricia Morrisroe to write his biography, which was based on more than 300
interviews with celebrities, critics, lovers, and Mapplethorpe himself.
Hotel Chelsea, New York City
Mapplethorpe died on the morning of March 9, 1989 at the age of 42 due to
in a Boston,
Massachusetts hospital. His body was cremated. His ashes are interred at
St. John's Cemetery, Queens in
New York, at his mother's grave-site, etched "Maxey".
Nearly a year before his death, the ailing Mapplethorpe helped found the
Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Inc. His vision for the Foundation was that it
would be "the appropriate vehicle to protect his work, to advance his creative
vision, and to promote the causes he cared about".
Since his death, the Foundation has not only functioned as his official estate
and helped promote his work throughout the world, but it has also raised and
donated millions of dollars to fund medical research in the fight against AIDS
and HIV infection.
The Foundation also determines which galleries represent Mapplethorpe's art.
The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation donated the Robert Mapplethorpe Archive to
Getty Research Institute. The archive spans from 1970 to 1989.
BACK TO HOME PAGE
"Robert Mapplethorpe: bad boy with a camera". The Spectator.
- Glueck, Grace.
The New York Times, June 25, 1995. Accessed October 14, 2007.
"Growing up in a blue-collar precinct of Floral Park and steeped in
Catholicism, Mapplethorpe developed — to his alarm — an adolescent
interest in gay
pornographic magazines ... So, at Pratt Institute, where his father
had studied Engineering and Robert majored in Graphic Arts (but stopped
short of getting a degree) ..."
- Haggerty, George.
"Gay histories and cultures"
- Jack Fritscher, Gay
San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer, San Francisco, Palm Drive
Jackfritscher.com, retrieved September 29, 2014.
Patricia. Robert Mapplethorpe: a biography. New York: Random House, 1995.
pgs. 297, 126
- Wilson, Scott.
Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons,
3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 29890-29891). McFarland & Company, Inc.,
Publishers. Kindle Edition.
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The New York Observer. Retrieved
29 January 2014.
"The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation - FAQ". mapplethorpe.org.
The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation.
Retrieved 29 January 2014.
"Robert Mapplethorpe Archive". Getty Research Institute.
Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Arthur Coleman
Danto and Mapplethorpe, Robert. Mapplethorpe. New York: Random House,
1992. Print. pg 326
Thorgerson, Storm; Aubrey Powell (November 1999). 100 Best Album
Covers: The Stories Behind the Sleeves (1st American ed.). Dorling
Kindersley. p. 74.
Smith, Patti (2010). Just Kids (First Ecco Paperback ed.).
HarperCollins. p. 199.
"Robert Mapplethorpe's extraordinary vision - The Tech".
Imperfect Moments: Mapplethorpe and Censorship Twenty Years Later,
Institute of Contemporary Art
- Tannenbaum, Judith.
"Robert Mapplethorpe: The Philadelphia Story." Art Journal 50.4 (1991):
"Mapplethorpe's Photos Now an F.C.C. Issue". The New York Times.
August 17, 1990.
The Sensitive Society, James F. Fitzpatrick, FCLJ Vol 47 No 2
Archived 2008-06-13 at the
"Corcoran Cut From Painter's Will".
"Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment".
"Censorship: A World Enclyclopedia".
- The federal government
and the states have long been permitted to limit obscenity or pornography.
However, the exact definition of obscenity and pornography has changed
over time. (See also
I know it when I see it.)
- Grace Glueck (April 16,
Publicity Is Enriching Mapplethorpe Estate
The New York Times.
"UCE pages on the Mapplethorpe controversy". Archived from
the original on February 9, 1999.
"Mapplethorpe - Richard Meyer Essay".
Mapplethorpe, Robert (1946-1989)
- Kobena Mercer "Looking
for Trouble" Transition, No. 51 (1991), pp. 184-197
- Fritscher, Jack.
Mapplethorpe: assault with a deadly camera : a pop culture memoir, an
outlaw reminiscence. Mamaroneck, NY: Hastings House, 1994. Print.
- Audio Guide Stop For
Glenn Ligon, Notes on the Margins of the Black Book, 1991-1993,
Whitney Museum of American Art
- Duberman, Martin
(2014). Hold Tight Gently: Michael Callen, Essex Hemphill and the
Battlefield of AIDS. New York:
The New Press. pp. 169-170.
Russell, Paul (1991). Boys of Life. New
York, NY: Dutton. p. iii.
- Washington Post Book
World, May 28, 1995, In the Darkroom of the Soul.
- The Unretouched Life,
The Nation, June 12, 1995.
Smith, Patti (1996). The Coral Sea. New
York, NY: W.W. Norton.
"The Flowers of Robert Mapplethorpe (CD-i) James & Mike Mondays".
Retrieved 10 September 2014.
"Extract from: HANSARD, S.A. LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Wednesday 14 March 2001".
Retrieved 5 October 2013.
"Pictures (book), Australian Classification,".
Retrieved 5 October 2013.
Stephen Holden, A Collector and His Polaroid Passions, The New
York Times, October 19, 2007
Philip Gefter, The Man Who Made Mapplethorpe, The New York
Times, April 24, 2007
Jay Weisberg, Review of Black White + Gray, Variety Magazine,
May 7, 2007
"Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe -
Tribeca Film Festival". Tribeca.
Earnest Hardy, Art Doc of the Week | Black White + Gray, CRAVEN,
August 25, 2015
Wolf, Sylvia (2007). Robert Mapplethorpe:
Polaroids. Munich: Prestel.
Carson, Tom (2010-01-29),
"The Night Belongs to Us", New York Times,
"National Book Awards – 2010".
National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-02-20. (With interview,
acceptance speech, and reading.)
"Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures".
British Board of Film Classification.
Retrieved 22 April 2016.
Bradshaw, Peter (21 April 2016).
"Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures review – justice is done to a
brilliant photographer". London:
The Guardian. Retrieved
22 April 2016.
Leigh, Danny (21 April 2016).
"Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures — film review: 'Appreciative and frank'".
Financial Times. Retrieved
22 April 2016.
Macnab, Geoffrey (22 April 2016).
"Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures, film review: a documentary that
tackles sexuality". London:
The Independent. Retrieved
22 April 2016.
Debruge, Peter (25 March 2016).
"Film Review: 'Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures'".
22 April 2016.
Poniewozik, James (3 April 2016).
"Review: 'Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures' on HBO Gives Context to
The New York Times. Retrieved
22 April 2016.
Pulver, Andrew (2016-01-26).
"Matt Smith to play photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in biopic".
"Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989)".
"Robert Mapplethorpe: A perfectionist". Rotterdam:
Retrieved 23 April 2017.