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Sequence of Events in Obscenity Trial With PM-Mapplethorpe Trial, Bjt

October 6, 1990

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Here is a chronology of events in the obscenity case based on photographs by the late Robert Mapplethorpe:

-April 1987-Dec. 1988: Mapplethorpe assembles an exhibition called ″Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Moment″ in consultation with Janet Kardon, curator of the Institute for Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.

-Oct. 1988: Dennis Barrie, the director of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, decides to display the exhibit, calling it ″the most stunning photographic show I’d seen in years.″

-March 1989: Mapplethorpe dies at age 42 of AIDS in Boston.

-June 1989: The Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., cancels a planned Mapplethorpe exhibition. The gallery director says she acted to defuse debate over government support to the arts.

-March 16, 1990: Hamilton County Sheriff Simon L. Leis Jr. says in an interview that he considers parts of the planned 175-picture exhibition legally obscene and says he plans to take legal action if Cincinnati police don’t act.

-March 27: The Contemporary Arts Center files a lawsuit seeking a court ruling on whether the pictures are obscene before the exhibition opens.

-April 2: Cincinnati police vice officers review the Mapplethorpe exhibition at the gallery’s request, but decline to file charges.

-April 6: A Hamilton County Municipal Court judge dismisses the gallery’s lawsuit. The exhibition opens with a private showing to more than 4,000 dues- paying gallery patrons.

-April 7: The exhibition opens to the public, and more than 8,000 see it the first day. A county grand jury indicts the Contemporary Arts Center and Barrie on misdemeanor counts of pandering obscenity and using children in material involving nudity. The indictment covers five pictures depicting sex acts and two showing children with their genitals exposed.

-April 8: U.S. District Judge Carl B. Rubin issues an injunction barring police from seizing the photographs at the gallery.

-April 16: Barrie and the Contemporary Arts Center plead innocent before Judge David J. Albanese in Hamilton County Municipal Court.

-April 19: County Prosecutor Arthur M. Ney turns the case over to city prosecutors, saying his office cannot handle it because it involves only misdemeanor charges.

-April 23: The Association of Art Museum Directors, which represents directors of 176 museum directors in the United States and Canada, promises to pay any fine imposed on Barrie and the Contemporary Arts Center.

-May 26: The exhibition closes after more than 81,000 people pay to see it, making it the largest arts event in Cincinnati history.

-June 20: Albanese, rejecting defense arguments that the artistic quality of two pictures of children make them immune from child-nudity law, orders Barrie and the gallery to stand trial Sept. 24 on the child-nudity charge.

-Aug. 1: The exhibit opens in Boston at the Institute for Contemporary Art.

-Sept. 5, 1990: A Municipal Court clerk in Boston refuses a request by critics of the show to file obscenity charges.

-Sept. 6: Albanese rules that jurors in Barrie’s trial will consider only the seven photos named in the indictment, saying they need to find that only one of the pictures is obscene to return a conviction. The judge orders Barrie and the gallery to stand trial Sept. 24 on the obscenity charge.

-Sept. 24, 1990: The trial begins.

-Oct. 2: Mrs. Kardon testifies that she considered the pictures to be artistically important. She says she found the pictures of the two children non-sexual and morally innocent.

-Oct. 3: Barrie testifies in his own defense, saying he recognized the controversial nature of the photos before the exhibition began. But he says Mapplethorpe was an important artist whose work the public should be able to see.

-Oct. 4: Judith Reisman, the prosecution’s only expert witness, testifies that the photos of sex acts lack artistic value and that the photos of the children could encourage child abuse.

-Oct. 5: Jurors deliberate just two hours before finding Barrie and the Contemporary Arts Center innocent on all charges. The exhibit closes in Boston, after 103,000 people paid to see the photographs.

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