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Black Star Collection

Assembled over a period of eighty years at the Black Star photo agency in New York City, the photographs in the Black Star Collection represent the personalities, events, and conflicts of the twentieth century. The collection, acquired in 2005 for Ryerson University, comprises nearly 300,000 photographs by more than 6,000 different image-makers, including many seminal figures of twentieth-century photojournalism. Working collaboratively in New York City with the founders and editors of such weekly magazines as Life, Look, and the Saturday Evening Post, these photographers established the conventions of the published photo essay as a means to convey narrative information.

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A photograph of a group of men, whose eyes have been covered in post-production.
Fig. 1

Klaus Kindermann, [East Berlin riots against SED government], 1953–06, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.018313)

A man sorts through country desk plates in preparation for the United Nations General Assembly in 1949.
Fig.

Photographer unknown, [Preparations for the second part of the United Nations General Assembly], 1949–03, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.048676)

Quebec Separatists celebrate election victory in 1976.
Fig.

Daniel Wiener, [Quebec Separatists celebrate election victory], 1976–11–15, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.094475)

American inventor and thinker James Mason giving a lecture in 1980.
Fig.

James Mason (American, b. 1948), [Buckminster Fuller, American inventor and thinker], 1980–11, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.094716)

Fighter planes in the sky during World War One.
Fig.

Francis Fuerst, [World War I], ca. 1914, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.111042)

Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali swimming in 1953.
Fig.

Jean Dieuzaide (French, b. 1921 d. 2003), [Salvador Dali, Spanish surrealist artist], ca. 1953, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.144692)

Amelia Earhart relaxing in a chair in 1930.
Fig.

Don Wallace, [Amelia Earhart, first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean], ca. 1930, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.148410)

Magician Harry Houdini posing with a chain of handcuffs in 1910.
Fig.

Michael Seldow, [Hungarian Magician, Entertainer, Harry Houdini], ca. 1910, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.164375)

Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei posing in front of a building in 1978.
Fig.

Dennis Brack (American, b. 1939), I.M. Pei, Chinese–American Architect], 1978, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.195182)

An explosion from nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific Ocean in 1950.
Fig.

Photographer unknown, [Nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific Ocean], ca. 1950, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.236812)

Apollo 11 Lunar Module seen above the Moon in 1969.
Fig.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), [Apollo 11 Lunar Module seen above the Moon], 1969–07, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.237239)

March in Washington in 1963.
Fig.

Flip Schulke (American, b. 1930 d. 2008), [March on Washington], 1963–08–28, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.242798)

Electron photomicrograph of human egg and sperm cells.
Fig.

David M. Phillips, [Electron photomicrograph of human egg and sperm cells], 1970s, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.261362)

Long exposure demonstrating movement of a slinky.
Fig.

Werner Wolff (German, b. 1911 d. 2002), [Long exposure demonstrating movement of household toy], after 1943, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.276869)

A family piled into a moving car from 1950.
Fig.

Ralph Crane (German, b. 1913 d. 1988), [Selected photograph from The Family of Man exhibition], ca. 1950, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.280290)

British suffragettes marching in 1911.
Fig.

Charles Bode, [Emmeline Pankhurst with British suffragettes], 1911–06–17, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.282459)

Angela Davis at Senate Confirmation Hearings for Vice President Rockefeller in 1974.
Fig.

Dennis Brack (American, b. 1939), [Angela Davis at Senate Confirmation Hearings for Vice President Rockefeller], 1974–09, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.285546)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put under arrest in 1958.
Fig.

Charles Moore (American, b. 1931 d. 2010), [The arrest of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.], 1958–09–03, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.288336)

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller walking away from a plane in 1960.
Fig.

Donald Dondero (American, b. 1920 d. 2003), [Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller], ca. 1960, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.289179)

John Lennon and Yoko Ono at an Anti-Vietnam bombing demonstration in 1972.
Fig.

Jim Weber, [John Lennon and Yoko Ono at an Anti–Vietnam bombing demonstration], 1972–04–22, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.290997)

Junior scientist Beverly Massie studying the activity of a mouse in a maze.
Fig.

Robert J. Smith, [Junior scientist Beverly Massie], n.d., gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.291824)

The Hidenburg at the opening ceremonies of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany.
Fig.

Alfred Tritschler (German, b. 1905 d. 1970), [The Hindenburg at the opening ceremonies of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany], 1936–08–01, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.119087)

A photograph of a group of men, whose eyes have been covered in post-production.
Fig. 1

Klaus Kindermann, [East Berlin riots against SED government], 1953–06, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.018313)

A man sorts through country desk plates in preparation for the United Nations General Assembly in 1949.
Fig.

Photographer unknown, [Preparations for the second part of the United Nations General Assembly], 1949–03, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.048676)

Quebec Separatists celebrate election victory in 1976.
Fig.

Daniel Wiener, [Quebec Separatists celebrate election victory], 1976–11–15, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.094475)

American inventor and thinker James Mason giving a lecture in 1980.
Fig.

James Mason (American, b. 1948), [Buckminster Fuller, American inventor and thinker], 1980–11, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.094716)

Fighter planes in the sky during World War One.
Fig.

Francis Fuerst, [World War I], ca. 1914, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.111042)

Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali swimming in 1953.
Fig.

Jean Dieuzaide (French, b. 1921 d. 2003), [Salvador Dali, Spanish surrealist artist], ca. 1953, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.144692)

Amelia Earhart relaxing in a chair in 1930.
Fig.

Don Wallace, [Amelia Earhart, first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean], ca. 1930, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.148410)

Magician Harry Houdini posing with a chain of handcuffs in 1910.
Fig.

Michael Seldow, [Hungarian Magician, Entertainer, Harry Houdini], ca. 1910, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.164375)

Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei posing in front of a building in 1978.
Fig.

Dennis Brack (American, b. 1939), I.M. Pei, Chinese–American Architect], 1978, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.195182)

An explosion from nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific Ocean in 1950.
Fig.

Photographer unknown, [Nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific Ocean], ca. 1950, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.236812)

Apollo 11 Lunar Module seen above the Moon in 1969.
Fig.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), [Apollo 11 Lunar Module seen above the Moon], 1969–07, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.237239)

March in Washington in 1963.
Fig.

Flip Schulke (American, b. 1930 d. 2008), [March on Washington], 1963–08–28, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.242798)

Electron photomicrograph of human egg and sperm cells.
Fig.

David M. Phillips, [Electron photomicrograph of human egg and sperm cells], 1970s, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.261362)

Long exposure demonstrating movement of a slinky.
Fig.

Werner Wolff (German, b. 1911 d. 2002), [Long exposure demonstrating movement of household toy], after 1943, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.276869)

A family piled into a moving car from 1950.
Fig.

Ralph Crane (German, b. 1913 d. 1988), [Selected photograph from The Family of Man exhibition], ca. 1950, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.280290)

British suffragettes marching in 1911.
Fig.

Charles Bode, [Emmeline Pankhurst with British suffragettes], 1911–06–17, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.282459)

Angela Davis at Senate Confirmation Hearings for Vice President Rockefeller in 1974.
Fig.

Dennis Brack (American, b. 1939), [Angela Davis at Senate Confirmation Hearings for Vice President Rockefeller], 1974–09, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.285546)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put under arrest in 1958.
Fig.

Charles Moore (American, b. 1931 d. 2010), [The arrest of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.], 1958–09–03, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.288336)

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller walking away from a plane in 1960.
Fig.

Donald Dondero (American, b. 1920 d. 2003), [Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller], ca. 1960, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.289179)

John Lennon and Yoko Ono at an Anti-Vietnam bombing demonstration in 1972.
Fig.

Jim Weber, [John Lennon and Yoko Ono at an Anti–Vietnam bombing demonstration], 1972–04–22, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.290997)

Junior scientist Beverly Massie studying the activity of a mouse in a maze.
Fig.

Robert J. Smith, [Junior scientist Beverly Massie], n.d., gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.291824)

The Hidenburg at the opening ceremonies of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany.
Fig.

Alfred Tritschler (German, b. 1905 d. 1970), [The Hindenburg at the opening ceremonies of the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany], 1936–08–01, gelatin silver print. The Black Star Collection, Ryerson Image Centre (BS.2005.119087)