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.
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 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.