Thousands of Robert Mapplethorpe Photos Preserved for Posterity

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Great news for those of us on the right (as in, correct, not conservative) side of the culture wars: The LA Times reports that the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have teamed up in a joint purchase of 2,000 Robert Mapplethorpe photographs from the late artist’s foundation. This is big news because the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation had saved final prints of many photos — including the infamous XYZ Portfolio — for just such an acquisition.

The deal also gives the Getty Research Institute dibs on the Mapplethorpe archive, comprised of 200 artworks, 120,000 negatives, 3,500 Polaroids, and all of the artist’s correspondence. And yes, that includes his correspondence with Patti Smith. Here’s hoping a great book comes out of this and that Patti gets to write the intro.