A judge in Chicago approved the sale as part of an auction to pay off secured creditors of the Johnson Publishing Company, which sold the magazines three years ago. Now the owners promise to donate the more than 4 million prints and negatives from Ebony and Jet magazines chronicling African American history to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Getty Research Institute. The Smithsonian is expected to be the public steward of what is considered one of the most significant collections of photographs cataloguing African American life. Getty will be tasked with digitally preserving the trove, some of which remains a mystery. The deal was an unusually swift and surprisingly successful endeavor for the nonprofit sector out competing with corporate bidders. Both Walker and Alexander said the sale was important to them personally as African Americans.
Ebony and Jet magazines' photo archive will go to Smithsonian
Ebony’s archives are up for auction. See photos from the historic collection
Johnson, an American businessman and publisher, laid the foundation of a new magazine called Ebony and 68 years from the birth of Jet , considered the Ebony sister. Paul Getty Trust, the John D. MacArthur Foundation and the Andrew W. What we know is that the cultural value of these major chroniclers of African American life of this archive is priceless: the history of American black culture between the 20th and 21st centuries. We still do not know when this archive will be accessible on the web, but it is not difficult to understand the importance that such a heritage was not taken over by private collectors who would probably have slowed down, if not prohibited, public use.
Paul Getty Trust, the John D. MacArthur Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation were among the buyers. This means that the archives will remain in public organizations' hands, ensuring that historians will be able to access them for generations to come.
Latest Issue. Past Issues. In a photograph taken by Moneta Sleet Jr. He became the first African American photographer and journalist to receive the award. Sleet is just one photographer who has pieces from his extensive body of work in the archives of the Johnson Publishing Company, which for more than 70 years was the foremost chronicler of African American life and culture in mass-communication media.