The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey – Where Art and History Intersect is an expansive collection of rare books early photographs, original documents, paintings, and modern sculptures examining and celebrating more than 400 years of African American history, arts, and culture. As passionate collectors, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey have been able to assemble one of the largest private collections of African American art and artifacts.
The tremendous collection includes important historical documents such as an early version of the Emancipation Proclamation; a signed copy of Brown vs. Board of Education; a first edition of Solomon Northrup’s 12 Years a Slave, the autobiography behind the 2014 Academy Award-winning film; and more artifacts by Frederick Douglass, Phyllis Wheatley, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Alain Locke, Malcolm X, and many others. The extraordinary art collection includes rare fine art pieces by expressionist sculptor and printmaker, Elizabeth Catlett; and Lois Mailou Jones, the only African-American female painter of the 1930s and 1940s to achieve fame abroad. Not to mention the collection also includes pieces by Henry Ossawa Tanner, Artis Lane, Richmond Barthé, Samuel L. Dunson, Richard Mayhew, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, and more.
On national tour since 2007, The Kinsey Collection educates visitors by bringing history to life through its impressive array of art and artifacts. These pieces of history share the overlooked and often untold stories of African American achievement throughout and contribution towards American history.
Lifelong philanthropists and activists, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey live by the principal “to whom much is given, much is required.” By following this guiding principle, the successful couple has raised millions of dollars for numerous organizations and college programs. With education as the primary goal for sharing their collection with the world, the Kinseys’s art collection is yet another facet to their philanthropy.
“The Kinsey Collection.” The Kinsey Collection. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2014. <http://www.thekinseycollection.com/>.
Museum of the African Diaspora. Exhibits: The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, Where Art and History Intersect. Museum of the African Diaspora :: Exhibits. N.p., 8 Feb. 2013. Web. 31 May 2014. <http://www.moadsf.org/exhibits/?id=34>.