Robert Mapplethorpe was a major figure in 20th Century photography, in the same league as Diane Arbus, Ansel Adams, and others who transformed photography from a bastard child into an acknowledged venue for fine art. That Mapplethorpe’s lover, Sam Wagstaff was also a major patron and advocate of photography as fine art helped to accelerate the speed of the transition, and amplified Mapplethorpe’s influence, as did his friendship with such icons as Patti Smith.
History of Arts/Contemporary Art
* Robert Mapplethorpe
Robert Mapplethorpe's Thomas and Dovanna (1986); Jan Harmensz. Muller, after waxworks by Adriaen de Vries, A Roman Abducting a Sabine Woman, from "The Rape of the Sabine Women" (sixteenth century).
(Photo: From left: photograph courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum/Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; Courtesy of the Guggenheim Museum/2005 State Hermitage Museum)