Ebony, Jet magazines memorialized in Smithsonian's African American history museum

Three issues of Ebony magazine, shown next to miscellaneous Ebony merchandise.
Photo credit Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The collection of 4 million prints and negatives from Ebony and Jet magazines have officially been transferred to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as the Getty Research Institute.

Chicago-based Johnson Publishing produced Ebony and Jet, which chronicled decades of African American history and culture.

Although the magazines were sold after founder John Johnson's death, the company maintained control of the archive.

The company considered selling the collection; in 2015 it was appraised for $46 million.

A consortium of philanthropic organizations purchased the collection in 2019 for $30 million.

Ebony was founded in 1945. Six years later, in 1951, Johnson launched Jet.

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