Note: This is the 12th installment of WCBS 880’s Black History Month series. For other articles, click here.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — For decades, especially in the 1950s and ’60s, black Americans got news about and images of their own kind from two magazines: Ebony and Jet, from Johnson Publishing Company in Chicago.

Now, an exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem highlights artists and essayists who were engaged with or influenced by the magazines, WCBS 880’s Jane Tillman Irving reported.

For artist Hank Willis Thomas, Jet’s weekly photo of girls in bathing suits was his inspiration. The poses of students, young career women and real-life girls next door ranged from prim to family-magazine provocative

A spectrum of the colors of blackness, all 3,000 of the photos could fill a room — and they do.

“Thomas has reproduced every single Jet Beauty of the Week from 1953 until 2014, when the magazine went digital,” said curator Lauren Haynes.

The exhibit, “Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art” runs through March 8.


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