Wagstaff: Before And After Mapplethorpe: A Biography
Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe: A Biography
Biography on a grand cultural level, here is the long-awaited story of Sam Wagstaff and his indelible influence on the world of late-twentieth-century art.Sam Wagstaff, the legendary curator, collector, and patron of the arts, emerges as a cultural visionary in this groundbreaking biography. Even today remembered primarily as the mentor and lover of Robert Mapplethorpe, the once infamous photographer, Wagstaff, in fact, had an incalculable―and largely overlooked―influence on the world of contemporary art and photography, and on the evolution of gay identity in the latter part of the twentieth century.
Born in New York City in 1921 into a notable family, Wagstaff followed an arc that was typical of a young man of his class. He attended both Hotchkiss and Yale, served in the navy, and would follow in step with his Ivy League classmates to the "gentleman's profession," as an ad executive on Madison Avenue. With his unmistakably good looks, he projected an aura of glamour and was cited by newspapers as one of the most eligible bachelors of the late 1940s. Such accounts proved deceiving, for Wagstaff was forced to live in the closet, his homosexuality only revealed to a...