Herb Ritts, Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood 1989, Photograph, gelatin silver print. Image/Sheet/Mount: 101.6 x 114.3 cm (40 x 45 in.), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston has received a $2.5 million donation in honor of Herb Ritts and 189 photographies of the artist. After the celebrity photographer had died in 2002 the Herb Ritts Foundation has been established to support museums which exhibit his works. The MFA plans to create a photography gallery in his honor, which will be a part of the new wing, opening in 2010.
The MFA already held a major retrospective of Ritt’s works in 1996. He was a fashion photographer who concentrated on black-and-white-photography and portraits in the style of classical Greek sculpture. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s he worked for magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and Vogue on portraits of famous people and artistic photos of models. He photographed Ronald Reagan, physicist Stephen Hawking, and the Dalai Lama. Some critics said at the time of the MFA’s Ritts Show, which attracted more than 250,000 visitors , it was closer to popular culture than fine arts. The gift to the MFA is the largest ever by the Herb Ritts Foundation, which focuses as well on supporting HIV/AIDS research.