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LACMA, Getty Announce Acquisition Of 2,000 Mapplethorpe Photos

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A Mapplethorpe photo. (credit: AP)

A Mapplethorpe photo. (credit: AP)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Trust Monday announced the joint acquisition of more than 2,000 pictures by the late Robert Mapplethorpe, as well as archival materials related to the controversial photographer.

According to a joint statement issued by LACMA and Getty, the acquisition “brings the finest and most representative body of work and related material by Robert Mapplethorpe to Los Angeles and underscores the museums’ commitment to collaboration.”

The acquisition was funded mainly by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, with the balance of funds coming from The David Geffen Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust.

Mapplethorpe, who died in 1989, attracted considerable controversy because of the erotic homosexual content of many of his photographs.

The acquisition includes more than 2,000 works by Mapplethorpe, works by some of his contemporaries “and the richest and most extensive documentation of his career, including personal correspondence with significant cultural figures of the period,” according to the museums.

“This significant acquisition establishes Los Angeles as the center for the study of Mapplethorpe, gathering in one location the finest and most representative body of the artist’s work…,” according to the museums’ statement, which said “a substantial archive will reside at the Getty Research Institute.”

The acquisition marked the first to be secured jointly by LACMA and the Getty.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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