Ebony magazine editions on display during a press preview of the exhibition 'The Black Image Corporation' by Theaster Gates at the Martin Gropius Bau museum in Berlin, Germany, 24 April 2019. Concept artist Theaster Gates presents the work of photographers Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton and the Afroamerican culture magazines Ebony and Jet. The exhibition runs from 24 April to 28 July 2019 at the Martin Gropius Bau museum in Berlin. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN (Photo: CLEMENS BILAN, EPA-EFE)
The auction to sell a historic trove of 4 million photos from Ebony and Jet magazines will continue Wednesday.
The archive, which includes iconic images of Emmett Till lying in his coffin and Coretta Scott King, mourning at the funeral of her husband, Martin Luther King Jr., is being sold by the magazines’ now-bankrupt former publisher Johnson Publishing Company.
“The interest level and active participation in the sale process for the photography and media archive has been truly remarkable,” the company’s Chapter 7 Trustee Miriam Stein said in a news release. “Given the high level of activity, we elected to adjourn the auction process until later in the week to allow for continuing discussions with interested parties.”
The archive was once valued at $46 million, but the high bid at the previous auction on July 17 was $13 million according to Gabe Fried, CEO at Hilco Streambank, the company organizing the auction.
‘It’s sad and it’s frustrating’: Ebony magazine’s digital staff abruptly laid off without pay as asset auction looms
‘Something worth saving’: A treasure trove of black history will be sold Wednesday. The buyer may remain a mystery
The collection includes photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sammy Davis Jr., Diana Ross, Nat “King” Cole, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Prince and Stevie Wonder. There are also snapshots of everyday life with images depicting the black church, food and fashion.
Soon after declaring bankruptcy in April of this year, Johnson Publishing announced it would be selling the archive to repay a debt owed to an entity controlled by businesswoman Mellody Hobson, who was just named co-CEO of Ariel Investments, and her husband, filmmaker George Lucas.
The auction is adjourned until Wednesday at 9 a.m. CT, and the sale is scheduled to close Friday pending the outcome of a hearing to approve the sale. Even after the sale is made final, the identity of the buyer may remain a mystery.
“We won’t be able to comment until after the sale hearing,” Benjamin A. Kaplan, an associate at Hilco Streambank, said in a previous email to USA TODAY. “And even then we may not be able to disclose the identity of the bidder.”
Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg
Source: Read Full Article