"CINCINNATI — Twenty-five years ago this month, a decision about a few photographs drew the national spotlight to Cincinnati.
'The Perfect Moment,' a collection of 175 Robert Mapplethorpe photographs, had just opened at the city’s Contemporary Arts Center. The retrospective included classical nudes, sensual flowers, two portraits of nude children and five explicit images of gay S&M culture.
The exhibit’s reputation preceded it: The Corcoran Gallery of Art canceled its showing along the tour amid protests, and its director resigned. When the exhibit opened in April 1990, Hamilton County prosecutors charged CAC director Dennis Barrie and the museum itself with obscenity, the first time criminal charges had been levied against a museum in the United States."