LACMA and The Getty Team Up To Buy $30 Million’s Worth of Mapplethorpe

The edgy work of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, best known for gritty shots of 1970s and 80s subculture, is finding itself a new home courtesy of the L.A. County Museum of Art and the Getty, who have just jointly purchased over $30 million worth in Mapplethorpe photos, sculptures, and "random paperstuffs". Among the more controversial of the pieces are Mapplethorpe's X, Y, and Z Porftolios, a series of photos from 1978 to 1981 depicting a trifecta of homoerotic sadomasochism, floral still life, and nudes. LACMA curator Britt Salvesen explained that the purchase was "a market-based decision, and [Mapplethorpe] was very ahead of the curve on that...He made a decision early on to create rarity in his work." Although the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation donated an undisclosed portion of the new L.A. collection (Mapplethorpe died of AIDS at the age of 43), LACMA and the Getty still had to shoulder a large portion of the $30 million price tag...and will have to figure out just how they're going to share the collection. (LAWeekly)

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