Perhaps the first serious collector to recognize photography as a worthy art form, Samuel J. Wagstaff acquired more than 26,000 photographs between 1973 and 1984, often with the assistance of his one-time lover Robert Mapplethorpe. His collection included works by French, British, German, and American masters since the earliest days of photography, but more importantly, Wagstaff served as a leading arbiter of artistic taste, allowing him to heavily influence the market for pictures by unknown photographers. This astonishing project includes 147 works from the complete Wagstaff Collection of 26,000 photos, purchased by the Getty Museum for $4.5 million in 1984.
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