Katherine Cebrian
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Reference URL

Katherine Cebrian 1980
  • Artist Rooms
Katherine Cebrian was one of the ‘grandes dames’ of San Francisco society, who famously said: “I don’t even butter my bread. I consider that cooking.” When Mapplethorpe was in town for the opening of a show at the Lawson/DeCelle Gallery, its owner, Edward DeCelle, arranged for Mapplethorpe to photograph her. Mapplethorpe turned up at her house wearing a black leather outfit and a studded belt, spelling out the word ‘SHIT’. DeCelle recollected: “I held my breath, but then Mapplethorpe worked his quiet charms on the elderly woman…talking softly to her while he set up his tripod in the sitting room. Mapplethorpe placed her in a window seat, with her face in profile.”


  • Acc. No. AR00205
  • Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
  • Size 34.10 x 34.00 cm (framed: 50.80 x 40.60 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008