Why I Don’t Blame Cincinnati for Putting Art on Trial

Mapplethorpe’s Work Can Promote Tolerance and Understanding, But Not in the Way You Think

I grew up in a suburb of Cincinnati where even the rebellions were quaint. We drank wine coolers, drove before we got our licenses because an unusually cool senior was lax with his Pinto, painted graffiti on the water tower.

The summer after I graduated high school, in 1989, I worked in a Subway sandwich shop and dated Sara Rushing. It took me years to realize I had never been happier, watching Field of Dreams with Sara and making out with her in the front seat of my car outside Ross …

The Photography Collector Who Legitimized an Art Form

Robert Mapplethorpe’s Partner Samuel J. Wagstaff Amassed a Trove of Images That Changed Fine Art Photography Forever

If Robert Mapplethorpe popularized photography as a fine art form, his longtime partner Samuel J. Wagstaff Jr. gave it legitimacy. The former curator of the Wadsworth Athenaeum and the Detroit …

Capturing Queer America, 30 Years After Mapplethorpe

Molly Landreth’s Portraits Recall Classic Images While Obliterating Familiar Narratives

In classic gay coming-of-age stories, the small-town misfit escapes to the big city—the bigger the better. Robert Mapplethorpe left his home in Floral Park, Queens for art school in Brooklyn …

Is the Media Going Too Far in Exposing the Theranos Founder’s Ugly Side?

As Scandal Broke Around CEO Elizabeth Holmes, Her Once-Glamorous Image Became Increasingly Unflattering

Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the controversial blood-testing company Theranos, used to look good—physically beautiful even—in published photographs: On the cover of the June 2014 issue of Fortune, Holmes was …

Why Ansel Adams Made His Black Even Blacker

The Photographer Projected a More Perfect Union by Taking Artistic Liberty With His Yosemite Landscapes

Ansel Adams’ Half Dome, Blowing Snow, Yosemite National Park, is a classic landscape photograph, one that draws upon decades of dramatic imagery touting the far West as the ultimate expression …