The DART Board: 07.31.2019

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday July 31, 2019


This just in from Hyperallergic:

An Essential History immortalized in the Archive of Ebony and Jet by Jasmine Weber
The archive of Ebony and Jet is a treasure trove of visual culture; its donation to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Getty Research Institute will allow unprecedented access to decades of Black American history.Above: 1954 Funmakers Ball participants Eddie McClennon, Bobbie Laney, 1st place winner for “Best Costume’ and Toni Evans pose for a photo. The annual event was held at the Rockland Palace in New Yor 

Over the last 70 years, Ebony and Jet magazines served as incomparable records of Black politics, fashion, beauty, music, sports, and culture, becoming essential fixtures in African American households. Last week, the expansive archive of these major chroniclers of African American life was sold for $30 million, and its contents will be donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the Getty Research Institute — an outcome that has allowed researchers, historians, and the public to breathe a sigh of relief. 

In the week before the sale, the Ford Foundation; the J. Paul Getty Trust; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation banded together to make the $30 million purchase. They will donate the archive of over four million prints and negatives, which has been largely inaccessible to researchers in past years, to the NMAAHC and Getty Research Institute, to preserve the collection and increase public access to it.

Left: Acclaimed and legendary opera singer Leontyne Price reflects on notes following success of
opera. (G. Marshall Wilson/ EBONY Collection)

John H. Johnson, the late founder of Ebony and Jet, established the magazines in the 1940s and ’50s, and they rapidly became integral parts of Black livelihoods, journalism, and culture. In 1955, following the murder of Emmett Till, Jet published an open-casket image of the slain 14-year-old at the request of his mother, who told the funeral director: “Let the people see what I’ve seen.” The image is often credited as an essential component that helped launch the Civil Rights Movement. In 1968, Ebony published Moneta Sleet Jr.’s image of Coretta Scott King cradling her daughter, Bernice, at her husband Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral. Sleet subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography, becoming the first Black man and Black photographer to win a Pulitzer. Other crucial images of civil rights icons like Angela Davis, Muhammad Ali, and Rosa Parks found homes in the glossy pages of these magazines. Left: 

The magazines’ impact on contemporary visual culture has sustained. In 2014, the Studio Museum in Harlem opened a group exhibition, Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art, drawing attention to their sustained influence on contemporary visual art. Lorna Simpson and Ellen Gallagher, whose work often draws from archival images of Black women in the 20th century, were among the artists featured. More recently, in the center of Lorna Simpson’s exhibition Darkening at Hauser & Wirth, stood a tall stack of the vintage publications.

Linda Johnson Rice, chairwoman of Johnson Publishing and daughter of its late founder, said the decision to sell the archive had been made before the company filed for bankruptcy [in April this year]. “It just needs to be in the hands of a place that can give it the exposure it deserves,” she told the New York Times. “It’s not right to sit on this for ourselves. It’s not doing that much good.”

Lonnie Bunch, the founding director of the NMAAHC and secretary of the Smithsonian, said in a statement that, “Together, our organizations will ensure these images, stories and the history of these publications are well-preserved and available to the public and future generations.” Read the entire article here.


This week in NYC and elsewhere

Wednesday, July 31

Pop-up museum opening: SuperReal, 6-8 pm. Cipriani, 25 Broadway, NY, NY Info

Artists & allies II | multi-media and time-based work. Screenings and performances. 6-8 pm signs and symbols, 102 Forsythe Street, NY, NY Info

Talk: Jeff Way | Topsy Turvy, 6:30 pm. Lesley Heller Gallery, 54 Orchard Street, NY, NY Info

Opening: Robert Murray | Landscapes and Abstractions / paintings and prints. Curated by Jonathan D. Lippincott and presented by SVA Visual & Critical Studies, 6-8 pm. SVA Flatiron Project Space, 133/141 West 21stStreet, NY, NY Info Right: Robert Murray, Landhope, 2008; photo courtesy of the artist. 

Opening: Khatia Esartia | Out of the Cave, 6-8 pm. Marisa Newman Projects, 38 West 32ndStreet, NY, NY Info

Thursday, August 1

Opening: Paintings From Taiwan | Nine contemporary Taiwanese artists, 6-8 pm. Eli Klein Gallery, 398 West Street,NY, NY Info

Opening: Rosario Bond, Leigh Bongiorno, Iara Celeste Diaz,Lorien Suarez Kanerva & Jennifer Mien Mien Lin | I AM A WOMAN, 6-9 pm. Lichtundfire, 175 Rivington Street Storefront, NY, NY Info

Opening: Make Make Make | Repetition and accumulation | Seven artists, 6-8 pm. A.I.R. Gallery, 155 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn, NY Info

Special: This just in from DART subscriber Giovanni Alberti: 
Thursday, August 1-Sunday, August 11
Cluster Art Fair presents: Unison | an intensive mix of art that speaks in one voice to promote purpose and pro-activity.Unit 5 Gallery, Yorkton Street between Hoxton and Cambridge Heath overground Stations, East London, UK. Info Below right: Cluster Art Fair poster

Friday, August 2

OpeningKGP | LIC, 6-9 pm. Kris Graves Projects launches new bookstore and gallery space at Ten-10 Studios, 10-10 47thRoad, Long Island City, NY Info

OpeningSebastian Burger, Arghavan Khosravi, Zita Schüpferling, Serge Serum, and Shihori Yamamoto | In distinction from the material world,6-8 pm. Artists Alliance, Inc. at Chuchifritos Gallery/Project Space, Essex Market, 88 Essex Street, No. 21, NY, NY Info

Opening: Adam Magyar | Stainless, 11pm-midnight. Broadway Plazas between 42-47th Streets, Times Square, NY Info

Saturday, August 3

Opening: Reagan Holiday | No Greater Love / fusing elements of drag performance with harsh electronic music noise, 6-9 pm. Haul Gallery, 219 9thStreet/basement, Brooklyn, NY info

Closing reception and catalog release:Temporary Island | the 2018/2019 SHIFT Residency Exhibition, 6-8 pm. EFA Project Space, 323 West 39thStreet, NY, NY InfoContinuing: James Bidgood | Reveries. Museum of Sex, 233 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY Info

Continuing: Eric N. Mack | Lemme walk across the room. Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY Info

Continuing: Alwar Balasubramaniam | Becoming Nature. Talwar Gallery, 108 East 16thStreet, NY, NY Info

Continuing: Eclipse of the Sun | George Grosz: Art of the Weimar Republic. Neue Galerie, 1048 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY Info



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