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Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe: A Biography

Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe: A Biography

Philip Gefter

ISBN: 978-0-871-40437-4

*Norton agency titles

480 pages

Select type: Hardcover

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Recalled as the lover and patron of Robert Mapplethorpe, Sam Wagstaff here takes centre stage as a leading American intellectual and cultural visionary. Philip Gefter traces Wagstaff's evolution from society "bachelor" of the 1940s to his emergence as rebellious curator. In 1972, his meeting with twenty-five-year-old Mapplethorpe, would lead to his legacy as world-class photography collector and cultural arbiter.

Positioning Wagstaff's personal life against the rise of photography as a major art form and the simultaneous formation of the gay rights movement, Gefter's absorbing biography provides a searing portrait of New York just before and during the age of AIDS. The result is a definitive and memorable portrait of a man and an era.