27 Facts About Robert Mapplethorpe


Robert Michael Mapplethorpe was an American photographer, best known for his black-and-white photographs.


Robert Mapplethorpe's work featured an array of subjects, including celebrity portraits, male and female nudes, self-portraits, and still-life images.


Robert Mapplethorpe was of English, Irish, and German descent, and grew up as a Catholic in Our Lady of the Snows Parish.


Robert Mapplethorpe attended Martin Van Buren High School, graduating in 1963.


Robert Mapplethorpe studied for a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he majored in Graphic Arts, though he dropped out in 1969 before finishing his degree.


Robert Mapplethorpe lived with his girlfriend Patti Smith from 1967 to 1972, and she supported him by working in bookstores.


Robert Mapplethorpe took his first photographs in the late 1960s or early 1970s using a Polaroid camera.


Robert Mapplethorpe designed and sold his own jewelry, which was worn by Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro.


In 1972, Robert Mapplethorpe met art curator Sam Wagstaff, who would become his mentor, lover, patron, and lifetime companion.


From 1977 until 1980, Robert Mapplethorpe was the lover of writer and Drummer editor Jack Fritscher, who introduced him to the Mineshaft.


Robert Mapplethorpe kept the Bond Street loft as his darkroom.


In 1988, Robert Mapplethorpe selected Patricia Morrisroe to write his biography, which was based on more than 300 interviews with celebrities, critics, lovers, and Robert Mapplethorpe himself.


Robert Mapplethorpe's ashes are interred at St John's Cemetery, Queens in New York City, at his mother's grave-site, etched "Maxey".


Robert Mapplethorpe worked primarily in a studio, and almost exclusively in black and white, with the exception of some of his later work and his final exhibit "New Colors".


Robert Mapplethorpe would refer to some of his own work as pornographic, with the aim of arousing the viewer, but which could be regarded as high art.


Between 1980 and 1983, Robert Mapplethorpe created over 150 photographs of bodybuilder Lisa Lyon, culminating in the 1983 photobook Lady, Lisa Lyon, published by Viking Press and with text by Bruce Chatwin.


Robert Mapplethorpe took areas of dark human consent and made them into art.


Robert Mapplethorpe worked without apology, investing the homosexual with grandeur, masculinity, and enviable nobility.


Robert Mapplethorpe was presenting something new, something not seen or explored as he saw and explored it.


Robert Mapplethorpe sought to elevate aspects of male experience, to imbue homosexuality with mysticism.


Robert Mapplethorpe decided to show his latest series that he explored shortly before his death.


Nesbitt, a long-time friend of Robert Mapplethorpe, revealed that he had a $1.5-million bequest to the museum in his will, but publicly promised that if the museum refused to host the exhibition, he would revoke the bequest.


However, prices for many of the Robert Mapplethorpe photographs doubled and even tripled as a consequence of all the attention.


Robert Mapplethorpe took the film to a local shop to be developed and the staff there informed West Midlands Police because of the unusual nature of the images.


Robert Mapplethorpe's purported intention with these photographs and the use of black men as models was the pursuit of the Platonic ideal.


In 2008, Robert Mapplethorpe was named by Equality Forum as one of their 31 Icons of the 2015 LGBT History Month.


The American documentary film, Robert Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, was released in 2016.