KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Artifact Brokerage Firm LLC has announced the sale of the historical D. Jay Culver collection with more than 4.5 million pieces, valued at $163.2 million and offered at $15 million. Purchased in 2006 from the Culver family by its current owner, who understands the monetary value and impact of the cultural find to museums, historians, institutions and investors, but who is ready to pass his treasure trove on because of his advancing age.
“In the past 25 years, I have never experienced this size of historical significance in one place. I am amazed that it is 97 percent intact and is selling for only 10 cents on the dollar,” said Michael Simon, Artifact Brokerage Firm LLC.
The Culver photo archive is the largest collection of vintage Hollywood photographs and depicts the 1800s through 1950s. This significant, historical and relevant collection captures the essence of the silver screen and contains the work of world-renowned photographers. The collection has the only known photos of many early Hollywood stars and never-before-seen photos of silver screen icons, with approximately 1.4 million photographs. Many of these photographs are well-preserved in 640,000 high-definition (300+ dpi) image files.
The collection also contains photos from five newspapers, including the Philadelphia Tribune newspaper, originally published in 1884. This paper is the country’s first African-American daily newspaper and is a highly sought-after historical resource for that community. This archive contains more than 45,000 photographs.
Pre-photography, historical ephemera, including original line drawings, sketches, engravings and plates from the 1500s through the 20th century, are also part of the collection. Subjects include famous people, American politics, the development of theater and performing arts history, 20th-century American railroads, commerce and advertising. The depth of Culver’s collecting covered all genres, with approximately 1.9 million pieces.
Peter Borsari was an immensely successful Swiss-born international photographer whose talent for photographing celebrities in intimate environments earned him a reputation as one of Hollywood’s greatest photographers. His work consisted of more than 14,000 names with every notable celebrity from 1965 to 1995 represented in this collection. Borsari photographs appeared in almost every issue of People magazine from its inception in 1974 through the late 1990s. His images have been used by Vanity Fair, US magazine, E! entertainment, National Enquirer, MTV and hundreds of other notable publications. This collection is comprised of more than 114,000 photographs.