Getty Blog: Consortium Forms Advisory Council, Announces Plans to Preserve Historic Ebony and Jet Photographic Archive. “The nonprofit consortium that acquired the archive of Johnson Publishing Company, publisher of Ebony, Jet and other iconic publications, today announced an Advisory Council that will inform the preservation and future use of the historic photographic collection to ensure the archive is made available for broad public use. The archive includes 3.35 million negatives and slides, 983,000 photographs, 166,000 contact sheets, and 9,000 audio and visual recordings, comprising the most significant collection illustrating African American life in the 20th century.”
Chicago Sun-Times: Johnson Publishing Co. art auction fetches nearly $3 million, doubling expectations. “Artwork that once decorated the Michigan Avenue offices of Johnson Publishing Co., which filed for bankruptcy in April, fetched nearly $3 million at auction last week — more than doubling expectations. The 87 pieces of African American art was sold in a live auction Jan. 30 in New York City.”
Chicago Sun-Times: Piecemeal sell-off of bankrupt Johnson Publishing Co. continues with art auction. “The last major auction of assets belonging to Johnson Publishing Co., which filed for bankruptcy in April, will take place in late January when 100 pieces of art that once decorated the company’s Michigan Avenue headquarters are put on the block.”
Smithsonian: Foundation Consortium Acquires Historic African American Photographic Archive. “The archive includes more than 4 million prints and negatives comprising the most significant collection of photographs cataloguing African American life in the 20th century. The archive was acquired for $30 million as part of an auction of the assets of JPC in connection with its Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing. The foundation consortium will donate the archives to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Getty Research Institute, and other leading cultural institutions for the public benefit to ensure the broadest access for the general public and use by scholars, researchers, journalists, and other interested parties.”
Chicago Tribune: Getty Trust to buy Ebony photo archives for $28.5 million after winning bankruptcy auction. “The J. Paul Getty Trust is buying the historic Ebony photo archives for $28.5 million, after emerging as the top bidder Wednesday in the weeklong Johnson Publishing bankruptcy auction.
New York Times: A Last Look at Ebony’s Archives, Before They’re Sold. “For months, a stream of visitors — curious, cultured and deep-pocketed — have slipped into a drab brick warehouse on the West Side of Chicago. They have been escorted upstairs in a creaky elevator to a windowless room and handed blue gloves to wear. Then they have lingered for hours or days over the most significant collection of photographs depicting African-American life in the 20th century.”
Chicago Tribune: Ebony photo archives auction resumes Monday after producing ‘multiple bidders’ but no clear winner. “An auction to sell bankrupt Johnson Publishing’s historic Ebony photo archives has been continued until Monday after producing ‘multiple bidders’ but no clear winner.”