After a year of working on behalf of the amazing National Museum of African American History and Culture, we are excited at Armstrong-Johnston to turn our attention back to Chicago collections and research topics. The New Year brought interesting film projects our way, which have allowed us to delve deep into picture research on the Chicago Stockyards as well as the fascinating history of Chicago advertising for the upcoming doc Chicago AdTown.
Interesting work this winter for two important, and long-standing Chicago based organizations; the American Dental Association and Dairy Management, Incorporated (formerly known as the National Dairy Council). Both associations hold fascinating archives documenting advocacy of their respective constituents (American dentists on the one hand, and American Dairy farmers on the other).
2015 was an amazing year for us at Armstrong-Johnston - a year full of rewarding projects and exciting company growth. Notably, and due entirely to the support of our clients, colleagues, and friends, we celebrated our fifth year of business! Five years ago, we joined forces to form a scrappy little company committed to the mission of providing high-quality, low-cost, research and archival services to organizations and individuals. Today, as then, we are propelled by our shared love of history and visual culture.
Recently completed - digitization of 21 sketchbooks compiled between 1965-1997 by the late Chicago artist Roger Brown. Often associated with the Chicago Imagist school, Brown's skechbooks reveal the origin and development of his creative process, and are useful documents that help in the interpretation of his major artworks. Digital surrogates of the sketchbooks will be made available to the public electronically though the Roger Brown Study Collection and the School of the Art Institute.
We are pleased to be working closely with staff at the Smithsonian on image procurement for the Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opens to the public in late-summer 2016. We are soliciting images, and negotiating terms and fees for works selected for inclusion in ten of the museum's permanent galleries. This is an exciting challenge for us – and great opportunity to explore resources available at repositories throughout the nation that document varied aspects of African American experience.
Armstrong-Johnston is pleased to announce that we were recently certified as a women's business enterprise by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the nation's largest third-party certifier of the businesses owned and operated by women in the U.S.
This summer we're taking on a fascinating project - representation of the Raeburn Flerlage archive, which documents in glorious photographs, the blues, jazz, and folk scenes in Chicago during the 1960s. Of his career as a photographer, Flerlage wrote: "I had been kicking around on the fringes of the music business in Cincinnati and Chicago since 1939. I did promotional work for record stores, organizational promotion, concert reviews, music columns, lectures and magazine articles…For that an a variety of other reasons I was a natural person to capture, in pictures, the major blues, jazz and folk artists of the era.” (2000)
For the next several months, we’ll have the great pleasure of conducting historical image research and licensing on behalf of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Our work will be conducted in consultation with Cathy Jean Maloney, who is penning the book Growing Forward: 125 Years of the Chicago Horticultural Society for the Garden. Growing Forward will be released by Northwestern University Press in summer 2015.