Title: BLACK STAR
Publisher: Lumiere Press in partnership with the Ryerson Image Centre
Page Count: 84
Contributors: Essays: Peter Higdon and Michael Torosian
A limited edition, handmade book, produced by Lumiere Press in Toronto, Black Star is edited and designed by publisher, photographer and author, Michael Torosian. An introduction by RIC Collections Curator Peter Higdon honours the longstanding collecting activity practiced by the School of Image Arts, and now by the Ryerson Image Centre, in developing its historically significant holdings of photography.
The central essay written by Michael Torosian addresses the European origins of the New York-based Black Star photo agency and its relationship to the rise of the picture magazine in North America. The remarkable character of the agency’s founders and their role in transplanting the picture magazine to North American culture in 1936 is examined in depth. Their successors, one of whom continues to direct the Black Star photo agency today, are profiled, and photographers, both recognized figures from the history of photography and those lesser known, are discussed and represented in a selection of powerful images from the collection.