Johnson Publishing Company was founded in 1942 by John H. Johnson and started with the publication of the Negro Digest. Eventually, the company would publish their flagship publications, Ebony and Jet.
Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet, and Contemporary Art is currently an exhibit at the Studio Museum of Harlem that features art informed by the information in these pages. The title of the exhibit gets its name from a monthly feature in Ebony Magazine where updates on prominent African Americans were featured. The catalogue for the exhibit features essays by prominent artists. Artists featured in the exhibit include Ellen Gallagher, Theaster Gates, Lyle Ashton Harris, Glenn Ligon, Kerry James Marshall, Ayanah Moor, Lorna Simpson, Martine Syms, Hank Willis Thomas, and Mickalene Thomas.
Recent news that Johnson Publishing Company is selling it’s photo archives, makes the exhibit even more resonant.
Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet, and Contemporary Art is on display at the Studio Museum of Harlem through March 8, 2015.
One full wall of the recent retrospective, Chris Ofili Night and Day at the New Museum was comprised of several framed paintings. This work entitled Afro Muses is actually 181 watercolors painted over the span of a decade and originally put together with Thelma Golden for The Studio Museum in Harlem.