The New York Times’s Randy Kennedy announces the joint acquisition of the Robert Mapplethorpe archives by the Los Angeles County Museum and the Getty Museum:
The foundation is donating the majority of the more than 2,000 photographs — including Mapplethorpe silver-gelatin prints and Polaroid works — and the Getty and the county museum, with help from the David Geffen Foundation, are buying the rest.
The foundation estimated the value of the entire collection — which includes 120,000 negatives — at more than $30 million. […]
Michael Govan, the director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, […] Govan said that he and Getty officials had been in negotiations with the foundation for more than two years, making a case for Los Angeles based partly on the Getty’s extensive storage and conservation facilities and on both museums’ strong photography holdings.
In addition, a cornerstone of the Getty’s photo holdings is the former private collection and archives of Sam Wagstaff, a curator and major collector who was Mapplethorpe’s companion, muse and mentor until Mr. Wagstaff’s death in 1987. (Mapplethorpe died two years later.)
Los Angeles Museum and Getty Trust Jointly Acquire Collection of Mapplethorpe Works and Letters (Arts Beat/New York Times)