Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Mapplethorpe met Henry Geldzahler (1935-1994) at John McKendry’s apartment in New York. Like McKendry he was a fellow curator (for twentieth-century art) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Geldzahler had close relationships with many artists and was portrayed by, among others, David Hockney, Alice Neel and Larry Rivers, and he figured as the sole character in a 90-minute film by Andy Warhol, in which he did nothing more than smoke a cigar. Mapplethorpe’s close-up photograph shows him with his trademark cigar and bow tie. It highlights Mapplethorpe’s interest in formal contrasts with Geldzahler’s prickly beard and patterned blazer set against his gleaming spectacles and flat background.