Perfect Moment – WPA Mapplethorpe Exhibit (Film 9:48)

Original Performance on August 2, 1989

Documentary Film:  Linda Lewett, Matt Dibble, Maida Withers

1989 – Video taped in 1989 at the height of the NEA censorship controversy. Footage appeared on Oprah! and on newscasts across the country, and in 2011 for Culture Wars: Then and Now at the Corcoran. The exhibition of photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe was mounted at the Washington Project for the Arts after the Corcoran Gallery of Art was pressured to cancel. Interviews feature curator Philip Brookman and James Fitzpatrick, Esq.  Linda Lewett produced and edited, Matt Dibble on camera, and Maida Withers posed the questions to patrons entering and exiting the exhibition in Washington, DC at WPA located on 7th and D Streets NW, Washington, DC.

In 2014 Corcoran Gallery of Art began to be dismantled and assets distributed between National Gallery of Art (collections) and George Washington University (building and education degree program).  Some say that the Mapplethorpe debacle, turning down the exhibition because of fear of retribution from the National Endowment for the Arts, was a fatal decision that is one of the contributors in the default of continuation of the Gallery today.  Corcoan Gallery no longer exists, but the historic FLAGG Building houses the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.  The GW Theatre and Dance Program is part of the Corcoran School in the Columbian School of the Arts and Sciences.  Maida Withers, Professor, has been part of GW since 1975 where she has been instrumental in developing BA, MA, MFA programs.

Artists and Collaborators
Producer / Editor