Winner of the Arts Club of Washington Marfield Prize
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection
This "admiring and absorbing biography" (Deborah Solomon, The New York Times Book Review) charts Sam Wagstaff's incalculable influence on contemporary art, photography, and gay identity.
A legendary curator, collector, and patron of the arts, Sam Wagstaff was a "figure who stood at the intersection of gay life and the art world and brought glamour and daring to both" (Andrew Solomon). Now, in Philip Gefter's groundbreaking biography, he emerges as a cultural visionary. Gefter documents the influence of the man who—although known today primarily as the mentor and lover of Robert Mapplethorpe—"almost invented the idea of photography as art" (Edmund White). Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe braids together Wagstaff's personal transformation from closeted society bachelor to a rebellious curator with a broader portrait of the tumultuous social, cultural, and sexual upheavals of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, creating a definitive portrait of a man and his era.