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    Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium

    March 15–July 31, 2016

    Getty Center

    Self-Portrait

    Self-Portrait, 1985, Robert Mapplethorpe, gelatin silver print. Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

  • Phillip Prioleau

    Phillip Prioleau, 1982, Robert Mapplethorpe, gelatin silver print. Promised gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

  • Lisa Lyon

    Lisa Lyon, 1982, Robert Mapplethorpe, gelatin silver print. Promised gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

  • Tulips

    Tulips, 1988, Robert Mapplethorpe, gelatin silver print. Gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

  • Self-Portrait

    Self-Portrait, 1988, Robert Mapplethorpe, platinum print. Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; partial gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

  • Lydia Cheng

    Lydia Cheng, 1985, Robert Mapplethorpe, platinum print. Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

  • X Portfolio

    X Portfolio, 1978, Robert Mapplethorpe, black cloth-covered clamshell case with gold "X" embossed on cover and spine. Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; partial gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

  • Tulips

    Tulips, 1978, Robert Mapplethorpe, gelatin silver print. Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

  • Carolina Herrera

    Carolina Herrera, 1979, Robert Mapplethorpe, gelatin silver print. Promised gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium

March 15–July 31, 2016, Getty Center

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Self-Portrait, 1980, Robert Mapplethorpe, gelatin silver print. Jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; partial gift of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the David Geffen Foundation. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

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.

Drawn from the landmark acquisition from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, two complementary presentations, one at the J. Paul Getty Museum and another at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, highlight different aspects of the artist’s complex oeuvre.

Support for Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium and its international tour has been provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. The Getty Museum’s presentation is sponsored by Sotheby’s.

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Related Events

COURSES
The Erotic Male: From Classical Antiquity to Mapplethorpe

A toned athletic body and remote gaze have signaled elite masculine beauty and sexual allure for thousands of years. Discover with educators Shelby Brown and William Zaluski the social and sexual contexts of posed and perfected classical nude sculptures, and explore their ultimate influence on the nude and portrait photography of Robert Mapplethorpe. Course fee $35. Complimentary parking.
Sunday, April 17, 1:00–4:00 p.m.
Getty Center: Boardroom and Museum galleries

Culinary Workshop: Biting the Big Apple

Travel back to the New York art scene of the 70's and 80's. Hear stories from Studio 54, The Factory and Max’s Kansas City; then tour the exhibition with Maite Gomez-Rejon of Artbites before preparing food and drink inspired by Vogue food writer Maxime de la Falaise and the musicians, artists, and fashion icons of the day. Course fee $95. Complimentary parking. Tickets available beginning Tuesday, May 3.
Thursday, June 2, 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Repeats Friday, June 3.
Getty Center: Private Dining Room

TOURS
Curator’s Gallery Tour

Paul Martineau, associate curator of photographs, the J. Paul Getty Museum, leads a gallery tour of the exhibition. Meet under the stairs in the Entrance Hall.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Getty Center: Museum galleries

Exhibition Tour

This tour provides an overview of two photography exhibitions: Robert Mapplethorpe’s classic and controversial work and the historic and contemporary photographs collected by his lover, Sam Wagstaff. Meet at the Information Desk.
Tuesday–Sunday, May 3–July 31, 2:30 p.m.
Getty Center: Museum galleries

PERFORMANCE
An Evening with Patti Smith

Join renowned singer-songwriter, poet, and visual artist Patti Smith for a unique performance exploring her extraordinary friendship with celebrated photographer Robert Mapplethorpe through the many songs, poems, and stories she’s written over the years inspired by their artistic bond. Tickets $25, available for purchase starting at 9 AM on Tuesday March 15; 4 ticket limit per person.
Saturday April 30th, 2016, 7 PM, doors at 6:30 PM
Getty Center: Harold M. Williams Auditorium

LECTURE
Mapplethorpe's Extravagance

Robert Mapplethorpe combined a sense of luxuriant decoration with cosmopolitan, cutting-edge sexuality. Richard Meyer, professor of art history at Stanford, links Mapplethorpe's extravagance to the flamboyant visual pleasures of the physique magazines on which his earliest work drew, the photographs he and Sam Wagstaff collected, and the posh interior of his Manhattan loft.

Learn more and get tickets.

MOBILE TOURS

Visit Mapplethorpe.la

Explore the themes of Robert Mapplethorpe’s work featured at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Join GettyLink for free Wi-Fi during your visit. Go to www.Mapplethorpe.LA on your smartphone.


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Take an in-gallery audio tour and learn more about Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographic practice from the people who worked with him most closely. Pick up a GettyGuide® iPod free of charge in the Museum Entrance Hall.

PUBLICATIONS

Publications are available in the Getty Museum Store, by calling (310) 440-7333, or online at shop.getty.edu.

RELATED EXHIBITION

The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs
The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs

In 1984 Mapplethorpe's lover and patron, Samuel J. Wagstaff, sold his vast photo collection to the J. Paul Getty Museum. This exhibition presents a selection of Wagstaff's collection, encompassing both masterpieces of the medium and obscure works worthy of attention.
March 15–July 31, 2016
Getty Center

Image Credit: Butterflies, 1935, Man Ray, carbro print. The J. Paul Getty Museum. © Man Ray Trust ARS-ADAGP

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