The Thrill of the Chase: The Wagstaff Collection of Photographs

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Date(s) - May 29
All Day

The Getty Center



Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr. was an influential art curator, patron and collector. In 1973, with the assistance of his lover Robert Mapplethorpe, Wagstaff came to believe that art photography was significantly undervalued. Over the next decade, he assembled one of the most important private collections of photographs in the world, which helped raise the profile of the medium and the price of photographic works. When he sold his collection to the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1984, it became the cornerstone of the Museum’s newly formed Department of Photographs.

This exhibition presents a selection of Wagstaff’s collection that spans the history of photography, from neglected French photographers of the 1850s to modernists Man Ray and Edward Weston to late 20th-century photographers Larry Clark, Joel-Peter Witkin, and Peter Hujar.

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