The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has received an endowment from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to establish a conservation fellowship to preserve, care for, and conduct research on the photography in its collection. The Guggenheim will also develop the Robert Mapplethorpe Collection Research Initiative, a three-year interdisciplinary project focused on the museum’s holdings of Mapplethorpe’s works, many of which were bequeathed to the institution in 1993.
Today, the museum is the home of one of the most comprehensive public repositories of the artist’s work. The gift coincides with the “Implicit Tensions: Mapplethorpe Now,” the Guggenheim’s two-part, yearlong exhibition examining the artist’s legacy. The second part of the show, which opened on Wednesday, July 24 and runs through January 5, 2020, showcases Mapplethorpe’s photographs alongside works by Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Lyle Ashton Harris, Glenn Ligon, Zanele Muholi, Catherine Opie, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya.
“We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Mapplethorpe Foundation and applaud its commitment to the long-term research and stewardship of the Guggenheim’s growing photography collection,” said Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “This endowment allows the Guggenheim to create a professional fellowship program, instilling conservators and curators with the knowledge to safeguard our collection for future generations.”