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Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation funds photography space in the new Scottish National Portrait Gallery
Edith Tudor-Hart, Prater Wheel, Vienna, about 1928 (negative). Modern gelatin print from archival negative. Photo: Presented by Wofgang Suschitzky, 2001. Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

EDINBURGH.- The National Galleries of Scotland announced that The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation has made a major donation to the new Photography Gallery in the recently refurbished Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh. The Foundation is giving a total of $300,000 (£190,000) over the next three years, which will be used to support innovative displays, exhibitions, research and related publications in the new space.

The Photography Gallery, which is the first purpose-built photography space of its kind in a major museum in Scotland, will now be called The Robert Mapplethorpe Photography Gallery after the renowned American photographer. The Foundation has supported NGS in the past with assistance on the major retrospective of the artist’s work at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in 2006 and through its assistance in helping to create a major holding of Mapplethorpe in ARTIST ROOMS, a collection of modern and contemporary art owned jointly by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland and established through The Anthony d’Offay Donation in 2008. Works within ARTIST ROOMS tour the United Kingdom in rooms devoted to individual artists. Works by Mapplethorpe have toured with ARTIST ROOMS to various venues in Scotland including Inverness Art Gallery and Museum and they are currently on display at Dunoon Burgh Hall (28 March to 8 July) before travelling to Linlithgow Burgh Halls (20 July to 28 October) and then to Perth Museum and Art Gallery (10 November to 27 April 2013).

John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland commented: 'The photography collections at the NGS count among the finest anywhere in the world. This extremely generous grant from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation will help us to unlock the potential of these holdings and create new and engaging displays of international quality. We are enormously grateful to the Mapplethorpe Trustees for helping us to bring world-class photography to a wider audience in this country.'

Michael Ward Stout, President of The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation commented: 'Our board of directors is delighted to have the opportunity to further the goals of such a distinguished facility of the National Galleries of Scotland, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. After getting to know the NGS, and its very impressive Director, John Leighton, we can think of no better European presence for our engagement.'

The exhibitions planned for The Robert Mapplethorpe Photography Gallery include a display devoted to the work of Czech photographer, Jitka Hanzlová (17 October 2012 to 3 February 2013) and an exhibition of work by Edith Tudor-Hart. This will be the first full retrospective of the photography of Edith Tudor-Hart, one of the most significant documentary photographers of the 1930s. Bringing together work shot in Vienna, London, Wales and Scotland, it will bring to light some of the most powerful photography of the Depression era and explore the double life of Tudor-Hart as photographer and Soviet agent.

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