by Jack Fritscher


Censorship: A World Encyclopedia cover
CENSORSHIP: A World Encyclopedia (read the full article)

A World Encyclopedia

Robert Mapplethorpe
U.S. photographer, 1947--1989
by Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.

What Happened When:... in pdf


by Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.

Robert Mapplethorpe (November 4, 1946-March 9, 1989)

Not knowing that seven of his photographs were about to be put on trial by a joint-venture of political and religious-right iconoclasts, Robert Mapplethorpe died March 9, 1989, approximately 100 days before the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. pressured by the the illegal mix of church and state, canceled his exhibition The Perfect Moment in July, 1989. The 175-photograph solo show, organized originally by Janet Kardon when she was director at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, had played successfully at The University of Pennsylvania (December 1988) and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (February 1989). The seven photographs that would cause the arrest on April 7, 1990, of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center director, Dennis Barrie, had been publicly displayed for twelve years in museums, galleries, and books before they were put on trial in Ohio in September, 1990. In mid-March, 1989, about a week after Mapplethorpe died of AIDS at age 42, fundamentalist marketer of the self-styled "American Family Association," the Protestant Reverend Donald E. Wildmon, saw a museum catalog featuring Andres Serrano's Piss Christ which was a photograph of the Crucifixion, the highest icon of Christianity, immersed in a yellow liquid.

CENSORSHIP: A World Encyclopedia (read the full article)

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