Robert Mapplethorpe

Explore the many sides of his work through your camera

Robert Mapplethorpe

On Mondays and Tuesdays, 7 November 2011 – 15 February 2012
Exhibition Hall
4 € per student (including the workshop)
An exhibition featuring over one hundred photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989), the photographer who epitomized the American avant-garde—or, more accurately, perhaps, the New York underground arts scene of the ’70s and ’80s.
Robert Mapplethorpe was as famous for his personal life as he was for his photographs, which largely reflect, iconize and hence bear witness to a particular generation and era in American life.

That otherwise inaccessible figures from Manhattan’s high society should have allowed themselves to be photographed by Mapplethorpe is extremely telling. His photographs of flowers are as convincing as his interiors, his self-portraits, portraits of famous and everyday people, of children, models, men and women of the day and night, athletes and dancers, intellectuals and artists.

But Mapplethorpe is not just famous for his daring self-referential photographs. His unique grasp of form, the way in which he manipulates light and frames his shots, the abstraction and economy (when needed) of his photographs, the geometry of his space and forms, the breadth of his subject-matter (different aspects of human existence) all make him one of the greats.

The educational programmes held in tandem with the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition will give schoolchildren the chance to explore the aesthetic, social and political extensions of the artist’s work made manifest in his photographs. The issues discussed will include the concept of identity, gender and multiple roles, as well as the reception of the artist’s work during the period in question. Participants will also have the opportunity to analyze the various photographic techniques which Mapplethorpe uses.

The Educational Programmes Department will work with teachers to adapt the programme to the specific needs of a given group. The exhibition tour will be followed by a workshop in which the participants will work on the concepts discussed during the tour. Fittingly, they will do this primarily through the medium of photography, photographing and being photographed using simple equipment (B&W drops, mobile LED and lenses). For example, the students will photograph an inanimate object as though it were a person, and a person as though it were a flower!


The programme will be run by Myrto Lavda, head of the Educational Programmes Department.

photo © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

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Aimed at:
secondary-school children aged 12-18

Places must be booked with Myrto Lavda, the head of our Educational Programmes Department, either via e-mail ( or by phone (2130178034).