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Beyond Mapplethorpe: Selections from The Kinsey Institute featured prints by photographers who either influenced Robert Mapplethorpe's work or were his contemporaries in the 1970s and 1980s. The show contained more than twenty photographs by George Platt Lynes, Herb Ritts, Len Prince, Arthur Tress, Tom Bianchi, and Bettina Rheims. Although these images were not as overtly sexual as some of Mapplethorpe's photographs, they revealed the same interest in exploring and expanding the artistic possibilities of the human figure.

The Mapplethorpe exhibition was made possible by The College Arts and Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Grunwald Gallery of Art, the Department of Sociology, the Center for Integrative Photographic Studies, and The Kinsey Institute, all at Indiana University; the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation in New York; Michael E. Rudder of California; and other private donors.

The exhibited photographs resulted from a 2011 donation from The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Malcolm Daniel, photography curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Claude Cookman, professor emeritus of the School of Journalism at IU, were instrumental in acquiring these gifts to The Kinsey Institute from the Mapplethorpe Foundation.