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Johnson Publishing Photos Going up for Auction


, a leading intellectual property advisory firm specializing in the valuation and sale of intangible assets, has been hired by Miriam R. Stein, the chapter 7 trustee of , LLC, to run the sale process for ’s historic photography and media archive, which includes more than 4 million images and thousands of hours of video and music footage dating back to 1948.  The archive was appraised at $46 million in 2015.

The sale process has commenced, with an auction to be held in mid-July 2019, subject to approval of the Bankruptcy Court.  More information regarding the opportunity is available here.

, CEO of Hilco Streambank, said, “There has been a great deal of interest in this significant collection of visual assets for months now, with interested parties ranging from large corporations, family offices and estates, celebrities, sports figures, museums and private collectors.”

Mr. Fried indicated that Hilco Streambank will soon advise interested parties of details regarding the bid deadline and auction date following approval by the bankruptcy court, with a live auction likely to be held in Chicago in mid-July.  He said, “we’ve already been getting offers for the collection as well as calls from many interested parties who would love to see these assets end up in good hands or in a museum which would make them available to the public.”  Fried indicated that he and his team are prepared to arrange for pre-qualified buyers to view the iconic assets, which are housed in Chicago, prior to the bid deadline.

Johnson Publishing, which filed for bankruptcy on April 9, 2019, previously owned and published the storied Ebony and Jet magazines.  The two publications are known to have visually captured African American life for decades, having featured historic photos that reflect the African American experience at a pivotal time in the nation’s history, from the post-war, pre-civil rights era through the end of the 20th century.

Mr. Fried said, “The sale represents a unique opportunity to purchase an unmatched, comprehensive collection of historically significant photographs.”

The collection includes photographs of Dr. Jr., Sammy Davis Jr., Diana Ross, Nat “King” Cole, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Prince and Stevie Wonder.

Top subject matters covered by the collection include church, television, sports, food and fashion. Many of the photographs that comprise the archive graced the pages of Ebony and Jet publications.  The collection includes 3.35 million negatives and slides, 983,000 photographs, 9,000 audio/visual items, and 166,000 contact sheets.

Hilco Streambank CEO Gabe Fried said, “The buyer of this archive has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire one of the most unique and important collections documenting African American history ever to come to market.”

Parties interested in the archive assets or learning more about the sale process should CLICK HERE

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