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Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe


Image courtesy the director

Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe
James Crump, 2007

New Documentary

Nonfiction filmmaking holds a strong appeal for many committed directors and producers. This ongoing series lets you sample wide-ranging approaches to the contemporary documentary.

Thu, Dec 6, 2007 7 PM

An intimate look at two legendary art-world figures, Black White + Gray brings to light the role that curator and collector Sam Wagstaff played not only in photographer Robert Mapplethorpe’s career but in the larger artistic milieu of the 1970s and 1980s.

A pioneering collector of photography and a highly influential tastemaker, Wagstaff met the then-unknown Mapplethorpe in the early 1970s when he was living with Patti Smith, befriending both of them and becoming Mapplethorpe’s lover and de facto manager. Black White + Gray tells of their mutual transformation—Wagstaff liberated from his conservative background, and Mapplethorpe morphing from struggling artist to world-celebrated image-maker, each man encouraging the other to discover different parts of themselves. Among those sharing their memories of the couple are Patti Smith, Dominick Dunne, Dick Cavett, and photo historian John Szarkowski. (72 mins., video)

Ballet Boys

Enjoy 25% off purchases and complimentary gift-wrapping in the Wexner Center Store, a free film screening, an exclusive gallery tour, and more during Member Appreciation Days, coming up December 3–6.

Wexner Center for the Arts

The Wexner Center for the Arts will be closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 26; Heirloom Café will remain closed on Friday, November 27.