Ebony and Jet Photo Archives Donated to Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture

A group of foundations have acquired the photo archives of Jet and Ebony magazines with plans to donate the collection to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The group, led by the J. Paul Getty Trust, purchased the collection from the bankrupted publisher Johnson Publishing Company for $30 million at auction. In a news release, James Cuno, president of The J. Paul Getty Trust called the collection one of the greatest repositories of modern African-American history. “Saving it and making it available to the public is a great honor and a grave responsibility,” he said.

The collection contains more than 4 million photographs, including iconic images of Coretta Scott King at the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr., and Muhammad Ali, among other prominent African-Americans. The images document over seventy years of African-American history. Through the donation to the NMAAHC, the photographs will be available to a broader audience.