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Black Star Publishing Company London

  • The 1936 New York-founded Black Star Publishing Company photo agency opened a European branch in London the same year in response to the high demand for foreign images in the U.S.
  • Name:
    Black Star Publishing Company London
  • Kind of Organisation:
    Photo Agency
  • Introduction:

    The 1936 New York-founded Black Star Publishing Company photo agency opened a European branch in London the same year in response to the high demand for foreign images in the U.S.

    Word Count: 31

  • Content:

    The Black Star photo agency was founded in New York in 1936 by the German émigrés Kurt Kornfeld, Kurt Safranski and Ernest Mayer and quickly developed into a network of émigré photographers and magazines in the city.

    Little is known about the European branch of Black Star in London. As the demand for foreign images was high in the US and networks to European photographers were needed, Black Star opened, in the same year as its founding in New York, a branch in London (Mayer 1951, 126). Ernest Mayer's mother, Mathilde Mayer, wrote on the London branch in her book and memoirs The Alte und die Neue Welt (Mayer 1951). The letterhead of a letter from Kurt Kornfeld to the photographer Erich Salomon bears the London address “Clifford's Inn. Fleet Street”. Ernest Mayer was named as one of the directors, together with the German K.J. Behrens and the British G.B. Minushull. Fleet Street was the area where the headquarters of most newspapers, magazines and photo agencies were located - also the émigré newspaper Die Zeitung was only a five minute walk away from Black Star. The Press Photo History Project is doing research on photo agencies located in Fleet Street, where the London branch of Black Star is also mentioned.

    The Strand Palace Hotel, where Kurt Kornfeld, Kurt Safranski and Ernest Mayer resided during their stays in London, was only a short walk away.
    How long the London branch ran or whether it was closed during World War II is not known.

    Word Count: 251

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    Cliffords Inn, Fleet Street, Holborn, London EC4.

  • Signature Image:
    Letterhead with address of Black Star branch in London. Brief von Kurt Kornfeld, Black Star, New York an Erich Salomon, 13.01.1938 (Erich Salomon Archiv, Berlinische Galerie © Erworben durch das Land Berlin aus Mitteln des Bundesministeriums des Innern, Bonn, 1980).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Kornfeld, Phoebe. Passionate Publishers. The Founders of the Black Star Photo Agency. University of Missouri Press, 2021.

    Mayer, Mathilde. Die Alte und die Neue Welt (1951). Arbeitskreis Jüdisches Bingen, 2003. [Original text was completed in 1951 by Ernest Mayer’s mother while in exile in New Rochelle, New York.]

    Word Count: 46

  • Archives and Sources:

    Photographic Collection, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin.

    Word Count: 5

  • Author:
    Helene Roth
  • Date of Founding:
    1936
  • Metropolis:
    London
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Helene Roth. "Black Star Publishing Company London." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/1470/object/5145-11066717, last modified: 23-09-2021.
  • Die Zeitung
    Newspaper
    London

    From 1941 to 1945, the émigré German-language newspaper Die Zeitung was published in London, reporting on the war on the continent and on the situation in Germany.

    Word Count: 25

    Kurt Safranski
    Picture AgentFounding MemberTeacherCartoonistPublisherIllustrator
    New York

    Kurt Safranski was one of the founding members of the Black Star photo agency, a teacher at the New School for Social Research and the author of photojournalistic articles and books.

    Word Count: 31

    Kurt Kornfeld
    PublisherPicture AgentFounding Member
    New York

    Kurt Kornfeld was a publisher and literary agent and a founding member of the Black Star photo agency in New York City after his emigration in 1936 to New York.

    Word Count: 29

    Ernest Mayer
    Picture AgentFounding MemberPublisher
    New York

    Ernest Mayer was co-founder of the Black Star Publishing Company photo agency, which built a network for émigré photographers and the American magazine scene from the mid-1930s until the end of the 1950s.

    Word Count: 34

    Black Star Agency
    Photo Agency
    New York

    The German émigrés Kurt S(z)afranski, Ern(e)st Mayer and Kurt Kornfeld founded Black Star in 1936. The photo agency established was a well-run networking institution in New York.

    Word Count: 31