Black Square I.
In 1995, Corbis (a private company of Bill Gates) acquired the Bettman Archive, a collection of photographic prints smuggled out of Nazi Germany by Otto Bettmann in 1935. At the time of its acquisition, the collection had grown to approximately 17 million pictures. The archive includes some of the most famous photographs in history, such as Protester Blocking Tank in Tienamen Square, Hindenburg Explosion, Albert Einstein Sticking Out His Tongue, American Troops Land at Omaha Beach, Mushroom Cloud Over Nagasaki, and Adolf Hitler Marching in Munich. In 2002, Gates moved the archive to the Iron Mountain storage facility, a high-security facility situated 220 feet below ground, 60 miles outside of Pittsburgh. This new environment slows the degradation of the prints and offers a safeguard against natural disaster, but also renders the archive physically inaccessible to historians and researchers, limiting access to the collection to the small percentage of images that have been digitized. As of February 2013, approximately 25% of the collection is digitally accessible.
Archival inkjet print
31 1/2 × 31 1/2 inches (80 × 80 cm)
Ed. of 5