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Cincinnati's Mapplethorpe Controversy Gets Revisited In National Podcast

In 1990, Cincinnati prided itself on being a town free of pornography and vice, at least until a museum tried to exhibit a collection of homoerotic photographs.
In 1990, Cincinnati prided itself on being a town free of pornography and vice, at least until a museum tried to exhibit a collection of homoerotic photographs.

In 1990, an exhibit at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center led to great controversy. "The Perfect Moment" was a collection of 175 photographs from provocative photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The images included nude children and explicit depictions of gay sadistic and masochistic (S&M) culture.

Hamilton County prosecutors pressed obscenity charges against the CAC director – the first such charges against a museum in the United States. The exhibit, the criminal charges, and the trial that followed are the focus of a new episode of national podcast Bleeped (@BleepedPod), hosted by Matthew Billy (@MatthewBilly). The bi-weekly documentary-style program focuses on censorship and the people who stand up to it.

In the new episode, Billy talks with former CAC director Dennis Barrie and explores the lasting impact of the Mapplethorpe exhibit. Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss is Bleeped host Matthew Billy.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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