In/Visible Jen Graves's Weekly Conversation with People in Art

Monday, October 26, 2009

In/Visible: Finding Robert Mapplethorpe in a Box on a Shelf

Posted by Jen Graves on Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 6:57 PM

In/Visible: Finding Robert Mapplethorpe in a Box on a Shelf

Sylvia Wolf was curator of photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art when she discovered a trove of unknown Polaroids by Robert Mapplethorpe in a back room at his foundation. The artist, who died in 1989, only shot Polaroids for a few short years before moving on to his better-known, tighter, neoclassical style.

Now, almost a hundred of the Polaroids Wolf found are the subject of a breathtaking, tender, revealing exhibition at the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle—having already visited the Whitney and museums in Chicago and the UK.

This conversation with Wolf is the story of how they—and Mapplethorpe—came out.


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