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Robert Mapplethorpe Exhibition Poster

Item Details

After Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946 – 1989)
Calla Lily, 1984
Offset lithograph on paper
Exhibition poster for Contemporary Art Center
©1990 The Estate of Robert Mapplethorpe
Images by Julius Friedman
Printed by the Hennegan Company
Label to the verso for Art Design Consultants Inc. (Cincinnati, OH)

An offset lithograph exhibition poster on paper featuring the imagery of the 1984 silver gelatin photograph titled Calla Lily by Robert Mapplethorpe. The poster advertises the 1990 exhibition The Perfect Moment, a solo exhibition of Mapplethorpe’s work. The show was famously controversial in Cincinnati, Ohio at the time. The poster is presented in a black composite frame under glass.

Robert Mapplethorpe was a photographer known for his large-scale, black and white photographs. Mapplethorpe is most recognized for his floral still lifes, celebrity portraits, and male and female nudes. The artist received his formal education in graphic arts from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, but ultimately dropped out before finishing his degree. Controversy followed his works, which bluntly exposed viewers to BSDM and homoeriticism with a tender treatment of the subject matter. 1989 saw the launch of Mapplethorpe’s touring solo exhibition, The Perfect Moment. When the show was hosted by the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1990, the museum faced a lawsuit and obscenity trial. It was the first time in American history that a museum faced criminal charges. Ultimately, the museum was found “not guilty” by a jury. The case raised a national debate on censorship, freedom of expression, and homophobia. Today, Mapplethorpe’s works can be found in a variety of private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, and the Getty Museum.

This item is being offered to benefit the Contemporary Arts Center.


- negligible scuffing and scratching to the finish on the frame; minor tears to the paper backing.


25.5" W x 33.5" H x 1.5" D

- measures frame; sight size 23.5" W x 31.5" H.

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