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Mapplethorpe + 25

About the Participants


Germano Celant, Independent Curator, Milan-New York

Germano Celant, is internationally acknowledged for his theories on Arte Povera. Additionally, he is author of more than one hundred publications, including both books and catalogues. He is also the curator of hundreds of exhibitions in the most prominent international museums and institutions worldwide.


Since 1977, he has been a contributing editor to Artforum, in New York; in 1987, he received The Frank Jewett Mather Award from CAA, The College Art Association of America; since 1989 until 2008, he has been the Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, in New York; since 1991 he has been contributing editor to Interview, in New York; from 1995 to 2014, he was the director of Fondazione Prada, Milan; in 1996 he was artistic codirector of the first Biennale di Arte & Moda, Firenze; in 1997, he was appointed Curator of the 47th Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte. La Biennale di Venezia; since 1999, he has been the art columnist for the Italian weekly magazine L'Espresso, Rome; since 2000, he has written a column dedicated to the visual arts for the Italian design magazine Interni, Milan; in 2001, he curated the Brazilian Pavillon at the 49th Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte, Venice; in 2004, he received the Laurea Honoris Causa in Architecture from Università degli Studi in Genoa; in 2004, he was appointed Artistic Supervisor for “Genova 2004, European Capital of Culture”; since 2005, he is the curator of Fondazione Aldo Rossi, Milan; and since 2008, he is the curator of the Fondazione Annabianca e Emilio Vedova, Venice.


From 2009 to 2011, he was the Curator of Art and Architecture at La Triennale di Milano, Milan. In 2015, he was appointed Artistic and Scientific Superintendent of the new Fondazione Prada, Milan. In 2013, he received The Agnes Gund Curatorial Award from Independent Curators International, New York. In 2015 he was the Curator of the exhibition Arts & Foods: Rituals from 1851, in the Expo 2015’s Art Pavillion at The Triennale, Milan. 

Germano Celant

Panel: The Exhibition, The Contemporary Arts Center, and Arts Censorship

Raphaela Platow, Director, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati

Raphaela Platow became the Alice & Harris Weston Director and Chief Curator of the Contemporary Arts Center in July, 2007 and provides strategic leadership and management expertise for one of the oldest and most celebrated Centers for Contemporary Art in the U.S.  She is an articulate, energetic and inspiring cultural leader, fundraiser and relationship builder and enthusiastically plays a leadership role in the arts and cultural community within the Greater Cincinnati region and beyond. Since joining the CAC, Platow has built a terrific staff, helped shape a strong board, stabilized the institution financially, successfully expanded its family, public, and docent programs and consistently attracted internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to exhibit their work at the CAC and throughout the community. In addition Platow has launched a popular and growing performance series, re-installed the center’s major Nam June Paik sculpture in its new location, and is in the process of redesigning the CAC’s lobby space to better fulfill the mission of the institution.


Under Platow’s leadership the CAC has curated major exhibitions by Maria Lassnig, Tara Donavan, Anri Sala, Michael Sailsdorfer, Shilpa Gupta, Shepard Fairey, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, JR, and the group shows Buildering: Misbehaving the City, Memory Palace, among many others. She also instituted a successful performance program that has included performances by Patti Smith, Olafur Arnolds, Roomful of Teeth and Hauschka.


Before moving to Cincinnati, Platow was Acting Director of the Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, 2005-06, and Chief Curator there for the first half of 2006, as well as Curator, 2002-2005. Raphaela has curated many exhibitions and authored catalogues on such artists and subjects as: Atul Dodiya, Hema Upadhyay: Modernization, and Diane Landry: By every wind that Blows (2013); Andy Warhol: Image Machine (2012); Dasha Shishkin: I surrender, dear (2012); Matthew Monahan (2012); Where Do We Go From Here? Selections from La Colección Jumex (2011); Juliao Sarmento (2011); Jimmy Baker: Remote Viewing (2011); Keith Haring: 1978-1982 (2010); Pat Steir: Water & Stone (2010); Ernesto Neto: Dancing Allowed (2010); Donald Sultan: The First Decade and Anri Sala: Purchas Not By Moonlight (2009); Carlos Amorales: Discarded Spider (2008) and Odili Donald Odita: Flow (2007) at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. Clare Rojas, Sarah Walker, Dana Schutz, and Oliver Herring (2006), Xavier Veilhan, Dreaming Now, (2005), Francesco Clemente, Barry McGee, Robin Rhode, Domestic Archeology, and Suasi Kusolwong (2004), and Painting4, bad touch, Beyond the Picture Frame, and site-related commissions (2003) at the Rose.


Platow has taught at numerous institutions on a part-time basis.  She was a lecturer on contemporary art at MIT and the University of Cincinnati, as well as a lecturer in the museum studies programs at University of Cincinnati, Tufts University, Boston University, and Boston Institute for the Arts, and she has given frequent studio critiques as Massachusetts College of Art, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MIT, Tufts, University of Massachusetts, RISD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Duke, and North Carolina State University.


Platow earned both a M.A. in Art History and Business Administration from Humboldt University in Berlin in 1999.  Her B.A. in Art History and Economics is from Albert-Ludwig University in Freiburg (1994).  Platow has certificates in French Civilization, Art History, and Philosophy from the University of Sorbonne in Paris and is fluent in German, French, and English.


Raphaela Platow

Dennis Barrie, Principal of Barrie Projects and former Contemporary Arts Center Director, Cleveland

Dennis Barrie has an extensive career in planning, developing and managing both major and less traditional cultural destinations—museums, exhibits, visitor centers, and public spaces.  He is an internationally distinguished museum director, cultural historian and an expert in popular culture.  His expertise is in developing innovative projects that come from and respond to the unique circumstances of various cities and locations across the US.  The nature of these complex projects rely on the fruitful collaboration with the leading thinkers and designers of our time and the widest range of public relationships—with government officials, municipalities and internationally renowned institutions.


His career includes eleven years with the Smithsonian Institution as Midwest Director of the Archives of American Art, where he interviewed and documented many of the great artists of the 20th Century.  For eight years he served as Director of Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center (1983-1991), the second oldest museum of contemporary art in the United States.  During his tenure there the Center was known for its ground-breaking exhibitions and programming.


As the opening Executive Director of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland (1993-1996), Dennis led all aspects of the project from concept—construction, staff development, marketing, fundraising and most importantly, the conceptualization and development of the Rock Hall’s films and exhibits—through opening and dedication.  The Rock Hall is recognized as one of the nation’s most celebrated museums, as well as a major cultural destination for visitors from outside the region, and a significant economic generator for Cleveland.


After museum and cultural consulting work for clients such as the International Museum of Cartoon Art, Walt Disney Company, Elvis Presley Estate and Site Santa Fe in New Mexico, Dr. Barrie became the president of the The Malrite Company (1998-2005), where he worked with CEO Milton Maltz to develop new and creative concepts for museum projects.  The company’s major project was the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC.  This pioneering integration of serious history, new technology and popular culture, has won numerous awards and has had over 700,000 visitors a year since opening in 2002.  It is recognized as one of the stellar examples of a for-profit museum model and was named the DC Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year soon after its opening.  Also, while at Malrite, Dennis led the development of the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, OH, which opened in 2005.


Since founding Barrie Projects in 2005, a museum consultancy, Dennis has also worked on the conceptualization of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, NY, located on the site of Max Yasgur’s farm, home to the 1969 “Woodstock Festival.”  This project includes an outdoor concert venue, special event spaces, a visitor center and a museum with exhibits detailing the 3 day landmark concert.


Dennis has provided developmental services for the Grammy Museum and the Museum of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, both in Los Angeles.  Working with Arts and Exhibits International/AEG (Los Angeles), Dennis was instrumental in putting together the Michael Jackson Official Exhibition which opened its world tour in London in October 2009.


Dennis was the Creative Director for The Mob Museum: National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, a $43 million project in downtown Las Vegas, designed to attract new audiences to the city core, housed in the historic federal courthouse where the Kefauver Hearings into organized crime were held.  The Museum’s 2012 opening garnered rave reviews in The New York Times, USA Today and on the Today Show, among others.


In 2012, Dennis led a team of professionals hired to re-think the exhibits and marketing programs of the Pro-Football Hall of Fame. The result was a $23 million redesign of exhibits and facilities. In addition, Dennis co-developed the Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary traveling exhibit entitled Gridiron Glory that is traveling to 17 NFL cities over the course of five years. 


Other recent projects include the development of a state- of- the- art exhibit for the NASA Glenn Visitors Center, the planning of a Freshwater exhibit for the Great Lakes Science Center and conceptual planning for the FutureGen Visitor Center, a facility devoted to alternative energy solutions slated for central Illinois.


In Chicago, Dennis has served on the Advisory Committee of the Chicago Blues Experience, a $50 million privately funded project to be developed in that city’s downtown area. Dennis also did the Feasibility Study for the American Writers Museum, a small museum proposed for a location to be determined.


Currently, Dennis is leading a team assembled to provide the United States Olympic Committee and newly formed Board of the United States Olympic Museum with a strategic plan for the development of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements’ first national museum. To be located in Colorado Springs, the $70M project will be designed by one of the top architectural firms in the country and, once in place, will serve as the catalyst for the development of “City for Champions,” a city-wide project focusing on amateur sports.    


Dennis has lectured extensively, in the US and abroad, served on regional and national juries and is the recipient of numerous degrees and awards, especially, for cultural leadership and in recognition of his First Amendment positions.  

Dennis Barrie

Jock Reynolds, Director, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven

Jock Reynolds is the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale University Art Gallery. He earned a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.F.A. from the University of California at Davis. From 1973 to 1983, he was an Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program at the Center for Experimental and Interdisciplinary Art at California State University at San Francisco, and also a co-founder of New Langton Arts, one of San Francisco’s pioneering alternative artists’ spaces. From 1983 to 1989, he served as the Executive Director of the Washington Project for the Arts, a multi-disciplinary visual artists’ organization in Washington, D.C. He then became Director of the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, in 1989, a position he held until assuming the directorship of the YUAG in 1998.


For his work as an artist, Reynolds has garnered numerous grants and awards, including two NEA Visual Artists Fellowships and multiple NEA Art in Public Places project awards. Frequently created in collaboration with his wife, Suzanne Hellmuth, his and their artworks have been exhibited broadly in the realms of visual art and theater and are represented in numerous public and private collections. Hellmuth and Reynolds have most recently been commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego to create a new work for the centennial celebration of the Panamanian Exposition and Balboa Park in the summer of 2015.


Over the last fifteen years, Reynolds has led the Yale University Art Gallery through the major renovation, expansion, and reinstallation of its exhibition, teaching, and collection facilities, and launched an active program of collection-sharing among college and university art museums. One of his recent exhibition projects was Five West Coast Artists: Bischoff, Diebenkorn, Neri, Park, and Thiebaud, in 2014. This fall he, with two of his graduate student assistants, will open The Ceramic Presence in Modern Art and Donald Blumberg: Words and Images from the American Media and In Front of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral.


Other recent curatorial ventures have included Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective, a collaboration of the Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art, which opened in November of 2008 and will remain on public view through 2033.

Jock Reynolds

H. Louis Sirkin, Senior Counsel, Santen & Hughes, Cincinnati

H. Louis Sirkin is one of the nation's preeminent First Amendment and criminal defense attorneys. Over more than 45 years of practice, Sirkin has consistently defended the free speech and constitutional rights of countless individuals and businesses, including adult entertainment establishments, museums, artists, activists, and ordinary citizens in all types of cases. Lou is also a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers.


Born in Cincinnati in 1940, Sirkin obtained both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Cincinnati. He entered private practice and quickly earned a reputation as an effective civil rights lawyer. He achieved national prominence in 1990 when he successfully defended Dennis Barrie, the director of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, against obscenity charges for displaying the nude artwork of Robert Mapplethorpe,. The controversy was later depicted in the Golden Globe-winning movie Dirty Pictures (2000). He has also served as President of the First Amendment Lawyers Association and the Greater Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.


Sirkin is a true believer and has distinguished himself as a compassionate mentor, a sought-after lecturer, and a tireless advocate. He has represented persons whose message was completely contrary to his own beliefs and has risked both his career and his physical safety to do so. (He was once escorted out the rear door of the courthouse to avoid being assaulted by individuals who opposed his clients.) But perhaps Sirkin's most notable accomplishment was his 2002 victory before the United States Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, which declared the Child Pornography Prevention Act unconstitutional. In addition, Sirkin has also represented artists charged with crimes, including morgue photographer Thomas Condon, and has defended on appeal numerous individuals on Ohio's and Georgia's death rows. In total, he has handled more than 125 appeals in civil and criminal cases.


Sirkin frequently lectures to students at the country's top universities and has recently participated in panels at Harvard University, New York University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Michigan, and Northern Kentucky University. For the past decade, he has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati, where he has taught habeas corpus law and a First Amendment seminar.


Sirkin has been selected by his peers as a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and has received numerous awards for his professional endeavors, including most recently the Nicholas Longworth III Alumni Achievement Award for Distinguished Professional Service from the UC College of Law, the Southwestern Ohio Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union Award for his commitment to the First Amendment, and the District Award from the Ohio State Bar Association for his outstanding contributions to the profession of law. He is also a fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers.


Sirkin is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court; the United States Tax Court; the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits; the United States District Courts for the Southern and Northern District of Ohio, the District of Colorado, the Eastern District of Kentucky, and the Eastern District of Michigan; and all courts in Ohio.


Louis is not only a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, but also a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers.

H. Louis Sirkin

Michael Ward Stout, President, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, New York

Michael Ward Stout was born in 1943 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was educated at the University of Wisconsin (B.A. 1965, J.D. 1968). Upon graduation from the University of Wisconsin Law School, Mr. Stout moved to New York and became an associate in the corporate department of a large wall street firm. In 1971, he left that firm to pursue his interest in intellectual property and copyright law by joining a prominent New York law firm in the field of music and theater.


Mr. Stout began his own practice in 1974 when he became professionally interested in the rights of visual artists and image based legal issues. He began representing various fine-art publishers and artists, including the artist Salvador Dali, whom Mr. Stout represented until the artist’s death in January 1989. Over the years Mr. Stout has represented many artists and arts organizations as well as writers, choreographers, publishers, etc.


Mr. Stout is active in professional circles including the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Art Law Committee 1997–1999), and the American Bar Association (Patent, Trademark and Copyright Section: Committee for Pictorial, Graphic, Sculptural and Choreographic Works).


Mr. Stout is also active in various roles with charitable institutions and non-profit organizations, including the following: President of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation (Mandated to fund AIDS and HIV-related medical research, to support photography programs of arts institution); and a member of: Board of Directors, The Robert Mapplethorpe Residential Treatment Facility at Beth Israel Medical Center, New York; Visiting Committee—The Robert Mapplethorpe Laboratory for Medical Research at Harvard Medical School (1990–2000); The Whitney Museum of American Art—Photography Committee (1990 to present); The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum—Photography Committee (1994 to present); University of Wisconsin—Chazen Museum of Art Council; and Bard College—Center for Curatorial Studies Board of Governors.


Mr. Stout, who has been an active fundraiser in the fight against AIDS and HIV infection, was for more than seven years a member of the Board of Directors of the American Foundation for AIDS Research.


Mr. Stout has appeared nationally as an expert on the subject of art fraud, specifically in proceedings brought by the United States Department of Justice, the New York State Attorney General's Office, the Federal Trade Commission, and the United States Postal Service. Mr. Stout has also lectured about copyright law, foundations and the visual arts, the business of art and estate planning for artists.

Michael Ward Stout


Robert Reid-Pharr, Professor, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York

A Distinguished and Presidential Professor of English and American Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Robert Fitzgerald Reid-Pharr holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before coming to the Graduate Center he was an assistant and associate professor of English at the Johns Hopkins University. In addition, he has been the Jess and Sara Cloud Distinguished Visiting Professor of English at the College of William and Mary, the Edward Said Visiting Chair of American Studies at the American University of Beirut, the Drue Heinz Visiting Professor of English at the University of Oxford, the Carlisle and Barbara Moore Distinguished Visiting Professor of English at the University of Oregon, and the Frederic Ives Carpenter Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago. He is currently the director of the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC). A specialist in African American culture and a prominent scholar in the field of race and sexuality studies, he has published three books: Conjugal Union: The Body, the House, and the Black American, Oxford University Press, 1999; Black, Gay, Man: Essays, NYU Press, 2001; and Once You Go Black: Choice, Desire, and the Black American Intellectual, NYU Press, 2007. His essays have appeared in, among other places, American Literature, American Literary History, Callaloo, Afterimage, Small Axe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Women and Performance, Social Text, Transition, Studies in the Novel, The African American Review, Feminist Formations, and Radical America. His research and writing have been supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars and he lives in Brooklyn.

Robert Reid-Pharr

Panel: The Artist’s Circle and Studio

Philip Gefter, Author and Photo Historian, New York

Philip Gefter is the author of "Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe," (WW Norton, 2014), a biography of Sam Wagstaff; and  "Photography After Frank," (Aperture, 2009), a book of essays about photography. He produced the 2011 documentary, "Bill Cunningham New York." Gefter was on staff at the New York Times for fifteen years, where he wrote regularly about photography. He is currently at work on a biography of Richard Avedon for HarperCollins.

Phillip Gefter

Judy Linn, Artist, New York

Judy Linn is a photographer who received a BFA from Pratt institute in 1969. She has had solo shows in NYC at P.S.1, White Columns and Feature Inc., in Michigan at the Susanne Hilberry Gallery and the Cranbrook Art Museum, in Germany at WTC Gallery in Hamburg and Haus am Kleistpart in Berlin, and in the Netherlands at the Cokkie Snoei Gallery in Rotterdam. She has participated in group shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Detroit Art Institute, The Dallas Museum of Fine Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Le Frac Nord-Pas de Calais Dunkerque, France, Padiglione de'Arte Contemporanea di Milano Italy, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium, and the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam. She has had portfolios published in the Massachusetts Review, Bomb Magazine and Artforum. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Detroit Art Institute, The Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Getty Collection and the Lambert Collection in Geneva Switzerland. She is the recipient of a Line grant, an Anonymous was a Woman grant, a Tiffany grant and a Peter S. Reed grant. In 2011 her book Patti Smith 1969-1976 was published by Abrams. She is presently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Vassar College.

Judy Linn

Robert Sherman, Promoter and Host, Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles

Robert Sherman was born on a naval base in New London, Connecticut, and developed at a young age the condition known as alopecia and is completely without body hair. It’s a condition that drew photographer Robert Mapplethorpe to him in the ’70s in New York City, when Sherman was studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. One of Mapplethorpe’s most famous photographs is of Sherman, who is as white as alabaster, beside Ken Moody, a black man who also has alopecia.


In the ’80s, Robert was a go-go dancer at some of downtown Manhattan’s hottest nightclubs, including the Pyramid, the Roxy, the Palladium and the Copacabana. In the 90s, Sherman moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and continue modeling, appearing in numerous film projects and music videos, including Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” and David Bowie’s “The Next Day”. Robert has also done work as a casting director, casting the drag talent and others for as well as appearing in Robbie Williams’ music video, “She’s Madonna”.


Robert Sherman as drag alter-ego Constance Cooper was the maitre d’ at the Bar Marmont, part of the Chateau Marmont from the day it opened in 1995 until 2002 and returned to the Bar 3 years ago to host a night there every Thursday. He continues to make appearances, act, model and host as well as working on his autobiography entitled, “Baldy”. Robert lives in West Hollywood.

Robert Sherman

Carol Squiers, Curator, International Center of Photography, New York

Carol Squiers is a curator, writer, and editor who lives in New York City. 


She has been curator at the International Center of Photography since 2000, where she has organized exhibitions including What Is A Photograph?, Remembering 9/11; and Perfecting Mankind: Eugenics and Photography. Among the exhibitions she has co-curated are the four ICP Triennial Exhibitions of Photography and Video and Avedon Fashion 1944-2000. She has written for a wide variety of publications, including Artforum, Aperture, and The New York Times and has contributed essays to a number of books and catalogs on subjects such as crime photography, art, fashion photography, pornography, and photojournalism.

Carol Squiers

Panel: Curators Curate Mapplethorpe

Kevin Moore, Artistic Director and Curator, FotoFocus, New York

Kevin Moore is an independent advisor, curator and writer based in New York. His work focuses on the history of photography and contemporary art. He earned a Ph.D. in art history in 2002 from Princeton University and has worked in curatorial departments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University. Since 2013, he has been the Artistic Director and Curator of FotoFocus, Cincinnati.


Moore is the author of Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of an Artist (Princeton University Press, 2004); Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980 (Cincinnati Art Museum, 2010); and, with Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs, Lightning Tree (Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, 2014).

Phillip Gefter

Jennifer Blessing, Senior Curator of Photography, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Jennifer Blessing is Senior Curator, Photography, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. At present she is organizing the group exhibition, Photo-Poetics: An Anthology, which will open at the Guggenheim in November 2015. Prior to this project, she curated the New York venue of Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video, an exhibition originated by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville.


In 2012, she organized Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective in collaboration with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as the Guggenheim’s presentation of SFMOMA’s exhibition Francesca Woodman. Other recent exhibitions include Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance and Catherine Opie: American Photographer. For the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, she curated True North and Jeff Wall: Exposure. During her tenure with the Guggenheim she has also organized touring exhibitions such as Family Pictures: Contemporary Photographs and Videos from the Collection of the Guggenheim Museum; Speaking with Hands: Photographs from The Buhl Collection; and Rrose is a Rrose is a Rrose: Gender Performance in Photography (all of which, like Haunted, featured the work of Robert Mapplethorpe). Blessing has contributed to numerous other museum exhibitions and catalogues, including Marina Abramovic’s performance series Seven Easy Pieces; Robert Mapplethorpe and the Classical Tradition; Premises: Invested Spaces in Visual Arts, Architecture & Design from France, 1958–1998; and Germano Celant’s The Italian Metamorphosis, 1943–1968.


In addition to organizing photo- and media-based exhibitions and their accompanying catalogues for the Guggenheim and its affiliates, Blessing publishes and lectures widely on art and cultural practices involving photographic representation. Her catalogue for Photo-Poetics will be released this fall, along with an introduction to Phaidon’s compendium, Body of Art, and the essay in Aperture’s monograph, Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs. Ms. Blessing received a B.A. from Brown University, and an M.A. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.  She has taught at the School of Visual Arts and was appointed critic in photography at Yale University in 2013.

Jennifer Blessing

Paul Martineau, Associate Curator, Department of Photographs, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Paul Martineau is associate curator in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. He received a B.A. in art from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a M.A. in art history from Williams College. Before joining the Getty Museum in 2003, Martineau held positions at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. He has organized numerous exhibitions at the Getty covering a range of topics that span from the mid-nineteenth century to the twenty-first century. Martineau is the author of several books, including Minor White: Manifestations of the Spirit (2014); Eliot Porter: In the Realm of Nature (2012); Herb Ritts: L.A. Style (2012); and Paul Outerbridge: Command Performance (2009).

Paul Martineau

Britt Salvesen, Curator, Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Britt Salvesen is curator and head of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department and the Prints and Drawings Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Recent exhibitions she has curated include Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s (2014); See the Light: Photography, Perception, Cognition – The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection (2013); Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa – Art and Film (2013), and Robert Mapplethorpe: XYZ (2012).

Britt Salvesen

Closing Keynote

Catherine Opie, Artist and Professor of Photography, University of California, Los Angeles

Catherine Opie was born in Sandusky, Ohio, and received her MFA from CalArts in 1988. Opie’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. In 2008, a mid-career survey of her work, entitled, “Catherine Opie: American Photographer,” was on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Recent solo exhibitions have been organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, CT, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Saint Louis Art Museum, the Photographers’ Gallery in London, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the Long Beach Museum of Art. Opie was a recipient of the Julius Shulman Excellence in Photography award in 2013 and a United States Artists Fellowship in 2006. She is currently working on an installation for the new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse, to debut the summer of 2016, and will have exhibitions at the Hammer Museum and MOCA Los Angeles in January of 2016. Her book, 700 Nimes Road, a portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, will be published by Prestel this Fall. Opie lives and works in Los Angeles and is a Professor of Photography at UCLA.

Catherine Opie

Oral History Reception

Sarah Douglas, Editor-In-Chief, ARTnews, New York

Sarah Douglas is editor-in-chief of ARTnews magazine. She has been an art journalist and editor since 1999. Before arriving at ARTnews she served from 2011 to 2014 as Culture Editor at The New York Observer, overseeing the paper’s weekly cultural coverage and launching and overseeing its widely-read visual art website GalleristNY. Before joining the Observer, she was staff writer at Art+Auction, Modern Painters and, the latter of which she helped to launch in spring 2005 as a key member of the site's original editorial team. Prior to that, she spent four years running the U.S. editorial office of the London-based The Art Newspaper. She has contributed to The Art Newspaper, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Flash Art, New York magazine, The Economist, The Economist’s quarterly Intelligent Life and The National, among other publications. In 2013 she was the recipient of ArtTable’s New Leadership award.

Sarah Douglas
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Mapplethorpe + 25

October 23 + 24, 2015

Contemporary Arts Center

Cincinnati, Ohio


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