SAM WAGSTAFF - THE RISE OF PHOTOS AS COLLECTOR ART IN THE 1970s:
After seeing the exhibition "The Painterly Photograph, 1890-1914" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1973 and meeting Robert Mapplethorpe, Wagstaff became convinced that photographs were the most unrecognized and, possibly, the most valuable works of art. He began selling his collection of paintings, using the proceeds to buy 19th-century American, British, and French photography. Then, influenced by Mapplethorpe, Wagstaff's taste veered toward the daring, and he began to depart from established names in search of new talent. His collection was soon recognized as one of the finest private holdings in the United States. The photograph collection was sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA, in 1984, for a reported $5 million.