Scottish National Portrait Gallery Exhibition

Artist Rooms Self Evidence: Photographs by Woodman, Arbus and Mapplethorpe

  1. Robert Mapplethorpe, Self Portrait, 1988 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Discover the work of three of the twentieth century’s most influential photographers

This show at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery explores the connections and similarities between three American photographers who each produced bodies of work that were revolutionary, ground-breaking and at times controversial.

Francesca Woodman began exploring self-identity through photography at 13 years old and continued to experiment and develop her practice in the following decade, until her tragically early death in 1981. Her photographs speak to her agency in being both the subject and creator of the work.

Drawing from the significant holding of Diane Arbus within ARTIST ROOMS, the exhibition includes the limited-edition portfolio, A Box of Ten Photographs (1969-1971), which was selected by Arbus herself and reflects how she wished to be seen as a photographer.

There will also be a series of self-portraits by Robert Mapplethorpe which explore the photographer’s varying personas, as expressed for the camera, and poignantly document his declining health having contracted AIDS. The exhibition will occur during the 30-year anniversary of his death.

The ARTIST ROOMS programme of exhibitions with partner museums and galleries enables access to modern and contemporary art of international significance in rural areas, small towns and major cities throughout the UK.

Exhibitions are happening throughout 2019 and into 2020 in venues large and small, the length and breadth of the country, from Dundee to The Isle of Wight.

Works from the ARTIST ROOMS collection can also be seen at Tate sites in London, Liverpool and St Ives as well as at National Galleries of Scotland sites in Edinburgh.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Scottish National Portrait Gallery
1 Queen Street
Edinburgh EH2 1JD


6 April – 20 October 2019 at 10.00–17.00

For opening times and accessibility information, please visit the Scottish National Gallery website