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Robert Mapplethorpe

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NEWS
July 29, 1989 | By Lucinda Fleeson, Inquirer Staff Writer
Outside, temperatures sizzled in the 90s, but the Capitol's worst heat wave this week occurred in the Senate chamber, where Jesse Helms blasted government funding for an exhibit of photography by the late Robert Mapplethorpe. "Immoral trash," the North Carolina Republican called the pictures. They were, he added, "vulgar," "sick" and "unspeakable portrayals which I cannot describe on the floor of the Senate. " But the more Helms huffed, the more people flocked to a gallery at Seventh and D Streets Northwest, a few blocks from the Capitol, to see the work that caused the congressional ruckus.
NEWS
August 8, 1989
HELMS' RULES FOR ARTS FUNDING ARE OMINOUS In a country that prides itself on the right to free speech, I wonder what happened to the idea of disagreeing with what one says but defending to the death his or her right to say it, paint it, sing it, dance it or photograph it. Shame on the Senate for approving a measure to ban federal support to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia for organizing and exhibiting the Robert Mapplethorpe show....
ENTERTAINMENT
April 20, 1990 | By Maria Gallagher, Daily News Staff Writer
The flier for the Art at the Armory 1990 show at the 103rd Armory next week carries a most tantalizing tagline: "See the art that the Philadelphia Museum dares not show you!" What have we here? Something racier than the Robert Mapplethorpe photos that scandalized Cincinnati (but didn't raise an eyebrow here)? Something even more provocative than the Rocky statue? You'll have to go to find out. Even the organizers don't have a clue. "We don't really know what's going to be in the show until we see the show," said photographer Joan Smith.
NEWS
October 7, 1990 | By Christine Donato, Special to The Inquirer
Don't ask artists in Montgomery County if they plan to let the threat of censorship or the proclamations of North Carolina senator Jesse Helms affect their art work. Some may be very insulted by the mere suggestion. But most of the members of the Artists Cultural Exchange (ACX) will answer that question with the triumphant exclamation, "No way," as they did Thursday when they leaped from their chairs in a moment of passion. In fact, just the mention of Helms, greeted with hisses and boos, was enough to incite the 30 members of the ACX who met Thursday in Elkins Park to discuss the ban on obscenity that Helms introduced in the U.S. Senate last year.
NEWS
August 1, 1990 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
It began quietly in Philadelphia only a year and a half ago. But since then, the life of "Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment" has been less than perfectly harmonious. Last summer, the exhibition of photographs, organized by the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Contemporary Art, was scuttled by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington. Then various congressmen, led by Sen. Jesse Helms (R., N.C.), decided that the exhibit was obscene because a handful of the more than 120 photographs contained graphic homoerotic images or showed child nudity.
NEWS
July 28, 1989
Granted, this is not just a case of a fig leaf over intimate parts or bowdlerizing song lyrics. A lot of Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs are - by most people's standards - gross and offensive. But nobody was forced to see Mapplethorpe's stuff when it was on exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Art Institute of Chicago. Nobody would have been forced to see it if it had been exhibited at Corcoran Gallery in Washington, but the Corcoran canceled the exhibit for fear of endangering funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
NEWS
August 20, 1989 | By Will Thompson, Inquirer Staff Writer
If you are waiting for the controversial Robert Mapplethorpe traveling photography exhibition to show up at the Chadds Ford Gallery on Routes 1 and 100 in Chadds Ford, don't hold your breath. That's the word from Barbara Moore, director of the gallery, which is dominated by the realistic art (including nudes) of Andrew Wyeth. Photographs of sexual subjects, including homosexuality and sadomasochism, are not the sort of thing that art lovers have come to expect at the famous gallery, she said.
NEWS
July 31, 1989
Members of Congress have found another small item on which to spend an inordinate amount of time and rhetoric. They have been waxing apoplectic about $30,000 in federal arts funding for an exhibit of photographs by the late Robert Mapplethorpe organized by the University of Pennsylvania's Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). Their outrage is understandable: One of the photos was of a man urinating into another man's mouth; another of a whip in a man's anus. A $15,000 grant to photographer Andres Serrano, now notorious for his shot of a crucifix in urine, is also getting panned.
NEWS
September 28, 1990 | BY DONALD KAUL
As we all know, there are two great problems facing Humankind today - the federal deficit and dirty pictures in Cincinnati. In order of importance: Dirty Pictures in Cincinnati - The director of a Cincinnati museum, Dennis Barrie, is going to trial this week for "pandering obscenity" in exhibiting the work of the late Robert Mapplethorpe, a photographer whose work begins where whoopee leaves off. The photos in question depict, among other...
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NEWS
December 7, 2010 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
When Patti Smith won the National Book Award last month for Just Kids , her tenderly evocative memoir of her friendship and love affair with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in late-'60s-early-'70s New York, the poet-rocker made an impassioned plea to the big shots of the publishing world. Recalling the years she spent working as a clerk at Scribner's bookstore in Manhattan, Smith said: "I dreamed of having a book of my own, or writing one that I could put on a shelf. Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don't abandon the book.
LIVING
May 25, 2000 | By Stephan Salisbury, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
In the decade since a Cincinnati jury decided that photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe were art, not porn, the National Endowment for the Arts has had its budget slashed by Congress to levels not seen since the Vietnam War era. Federal funds have stopped flowing to individual artists working in most disciplines, several major avant-garde arts centers in cities across the country have either closed up shop or sharply cut back programming for lack...
LIVING
January 4, 2000 | By Edward J. Sozanski, INQUIRER ART CRITIC
Judith Tannenbaum, who as acting director in 1989 kept Philadelphia's Institute of Contemporary Art on course during a bitter controversy over federal funding for the arts, will leave the ICA in several months to become a curator at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Tannenbaum came to the ICA, the city's most prestigious contemporary art space, in 1986 as assistant director and curator. She has been associate director since 1990. She will become the first curator of contemporary art at the Rhode Island school's 123-year-old Museum of Art on June 1, museum director Phillip M. Johnston announced yesterday.
LIVING
June 29, 1995 | By Jennifer Weiner, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Robert Mapplethorpe was not a nice guy. This is obvious by page 41 of Patricia Morrisroe's Mapplethorpe: A Biography, when readers learn the photographer's first and only pet, a monkey named Scratch, starved to death because Mapplethorpe couldn't remember to feed it, and wound up boiled in a pot. The photographer made a musical instrument out of his pet's skull, and didn't stop the rumor that he'd eaten Scratch in some kind of voodoo ritual....
NEWS
February 17, 1993 | BY MOLLY IVINS
As we all know, our government is a little peculiar. If we could just keep it from working at cross purposes on even one issue, we'd be better off. Take two of its weirder reactions to the fact that there are homosexuals among us. One of government's madder, sadder functions lies in the nitty-gritty of kicking gays out of the military. From 1980 through 1990, almost 17,000 homosexuals were dismissed from the military. That means someone had to go around tracking them down.
NEWS
December 6, 1990 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jock Sturges has finally had it with limbo. For more than seven months, since San Francisco police raided his apartment, backed a truck up to the door and carted away a million photographic negatives and countless other personal and professional belongings, Sturges has been living under a poisonous cloud. Local police and federal law-enforcement authorities say that he is a child pornographer. They have gone all over the nation and, indeed, the world, interviewing the photographer's friends, clients and associates, and seeking evidence and testimony to bolster their suspicions.
NEWS
December 2, 1990 | By DAVID R. BOLDT
Some weeks ago I let loose in this space an admittedly sensation-seeking, largely unprovoked, shotgun blast aimed at the current arts scene in America. The result was a most heartening fusillade of return fire that has left me, truth to tell, enjoying what Winston Churchill described as one of life's most exhilarating circumstances - that of being shot at, and missed. Emboldened, I thought I would return to the subject today. For those who may have forgotten, repressed or missed the original outrage, I was writing in response to the recent victories of the forces of free expression over the hordes of censorious darkness in such matters as whether the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe were legally obscene.
NEWS
November 8, 1990 | By RICK NICHOLS
I'm sick and tired of the sourpusses that have been griping on these pages of late about the sorry state of the arts. I don't want to take away their Norman Rockwell. I don't even think taste is at issue: They long for jazz musicians that smile and painting that uplifts. How sweet. But they've been too ambivalent for my blood on the real issue - the rise of would-be censors. Indeed, by highlighting the "quality issue," by whining about "airless, arid little novels," as the art cops circle the block, they've fingered the artist class as some sort of cultural enemy.
NEWS
October 7, 1990 | By Christine Donato, Special to The Inquirer
Don't ask artists in Montgomery County if they plan to let the threat of censorship or the proclamations of North Carolina senator Jesse Helms affect their art work. Some may be very insulted by the mere suggestion. But most of the members of the Artists Cultural Exchange (ACX) will answer that question with the triumphant exclamation, "No way," as they did Thursday when they leaped from their chairs in a moment of passion. In fact, just the mention of Helms, greeted with hisses and boos, was enough to incite the 30 members of the ACX who met Thursday in Elkins Park to discuss the ban on obscenity that Helms introduced in the U.S. Senate last year.
NEWS
September 28, 1990 | BY DONALD KAUL
As we all know, there are two great problems facing Humankind today - the federal deficit and dirty pictures in Cincinnati. In order of importance: Dirty Pictures in Cincinnati - The director of a Cincinnati museum, Dennis Barrie, is going to trial this week for "pandering obscenity" in exhibiting the work of the late Robert Mapplethorpe, a photographer whose work begins where whoopee leaves off. The photos in question depict, among other...
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