A Johnson Publishing Story

Theaster Gates

Cover art for A Johnson Publishing Story.


Founded in 1942 by publisher and art collector John H. Johnson, the Johnson Publishing Company (JPC) rose to prominence due to the widespread popularity of its magazines, including Ebony and Jet. A Johnson Publishing Story, published by Black Madonna Press in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name, explores the enduring role of Johnson and JPC in defining and popularizing a black aesthetic and identity around the globe.

A Johnson Publishing Story features an in-depth interview between artist and exhibition curator Theaster Gates and JPC Chairman Linda Johnson Rice, reproductions of archival imagery documenting the JPC offices in the early 1970s, an essay on the revolutionary potential of archives by WBEZ producer Ayana Contreras, and more.