Happening January 28: Celebrating the Legacy of the Johnson Publishing Company

Audrey Smaltz & Nigel Freeman in Conversation

Amid a backdrop of highlights from the Johnson Publishing Company’s incredible art collection—the majority of which hung in the offices of the company’s historic Chicago headquarters—we will sit down with fashion commentator Audrey Smaltz.

Audrey, who graced the cover of  Jet magazine and eventually served as fashion editor for Ebony, will talk with Swann director of African-American Fine Art, Nigel Freeman, about the iconic magazines and the culture they created.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

6:00 to 8:00 PM

Panel Begins at 6:30 PM

Swann Auction Galleries 
104 East 25th Street, 5th Floor
NYC 10010 


Ebony, September, 1972.


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About the Speakers


Audrey Smaltz

Audrey Smaltz has thrived in the fast-paced world of fashion for more than 60 years. Her business, The Ground Crew, has been managing behind-the-scenes operations for runway shows since 1982. Before that, Smaltz worked for The Johnson Publishing Company, as Ebony’s Fashion Editor, and as a commentator for the Ebony Fashion Fair. She has been a contributing editor to Vogue, Mirabella, and Mode magazines, and a board member of the Black Fashion Museum, Dress for Success Worldwide, the Gracie Mansion Conservancy, Fashion Group International, and BRAG, and has appeared on QVC, Oprah Winfrey, and The Today Show, among other programs. Smaltz entered the fashion world as a sales person at Bloomingdale’s in 1962, and was twice featured as a model on the cover Jet magazine.


Nigel Freeman

Nigel Freeman is the director of the African-American Fine Art department at Swann Auction Galleries. He founded the department in the fall of 2006, and since then has set numerous auction records for important African-American artists, including John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett and Hale Woodruff. He has lectured on the subject of African-American art at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the South Side Community Art Center in Chicago. He has also been interviewed by such magazines as The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, and on the BBC and National Public Radio. Nigel entered the auction world in 1997 with a background in fine art as a painter and printmaker after earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University in 1991, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Art from Brown University in 1989.

Eva Hamlin Miller, Sound into Sight — A Rhapsody, triptych of oil on canvas, 1964.

Can’t make it to the event? Our exhibition for African-American Art from the Johnson Publishing Company begins on January 25.

The exhibition is free to attend and open to the public. We welcome special and educational groups with advance notice—send an inquiry to rsvp@swanngalleries.com.

Exhibition Hours

Saturday, January 25 — 12 pm to 5 pm

Monday, January 27 — 10 am to 6 pm

Tuesday, January 28 — 10 am to 6 pm

Wednesday, January 29 — 10 am to 6 pm

Thursday, January 30 — 10 am to Noon

Past Event Livestreams at Swann Galleries:

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