1990 October 6

Robert Mapplethorpe and Gallery Curator Indicted for Obscenity in Cincinnati


An exhibit of Robert Mapplethorpe photographs, “The Perfect Moment,” opened at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. Many of Mapplethorpe’s images were starkly sexually explicit. Mapplethorpe and gallery curator, Dennis Barrie, were indicted on this day on charges of obscenity. They were later acquitted by a Hamilton County jury because the photographs did not meet the “Miller test” of obscenity (see Miller v. California, June 21, 1973).

Watch a short biography of Mapplethorpe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZq2sMo_kzI

Learn more about the Mapplethorpe trial: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/mapplethorpelinks.html

Visit the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation web site: http://www.mapplethorpe.org/

Learn more: Patricia Morrisroe, Mapplethorpe: A Biography (1995)

See a timeline on art, culture, and censorship: http://www.ncac.org/NCAC-Interactive-Censorship-Timeline

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