Lowell Blair Nesbitt  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Lowell Blair Nesbitt (October 4, 1933 - July 8, 1993) was a painter, draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor.

Robert Mapplethorpe scandal

In June 1989 Lowell Nesbitt became involved in the scandal surrounding fellow artist photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., had agreed to host a solo exhibit of Mapplethorpe's works without stipulating what type of subject matter would be used. Mapplethorpe decided to debut sexually suggestive photographs in Washington, D.C. The hierarchy of the Corcoran and even certain members of United States Congress were horrified when the works were revealed to them, and the museum refused to go ahead with the exhibit. As a longtime friend of Mapplethorpe, Nesbitt revealed that he had a $1.5 million bequest to the museum in his will. However, in public statements, Nesbitt promised that if the museum refused to host the exhibition of the controversial images created by Mapplethorpe he would revoke his bequest. The Corcoran refused and Nesbitt bequeathed the $1.5 million to the Phillips Collection, which he cited as an early inspiration to his career when he had worked there as a young man in the position of a night watchman.

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