A Passion for Collecting

We have a lot to celebrate during Black History Month. There’s the 50th anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a second-term for President Obama, and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. An early draft of that very proclamation is just one of the incredible artifacts on display in the exhibition “The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, Where Art and History Intersect.”The Kinseys first got together in 1963 when they were both students at Florida A&M and active in demonstrations for civil rights on campus. The couple (who now live in Los Angeles) discovered they shared an intense interest in art and history and soon turned into serious collectors. The items they have amassed over their four decades of marriage stretch far back into history — a Civil War recruitment poster for “colored regiments,” a late-19th-century tintype depicting an African-American couple dressed in the best fashion of the time — but more recent pieces, like a 1963 letter from Malcolm X to Alex Haley, are equally as fascinating. The collection includes contemporary work as well as paintings, prints, and sculpture from greats like Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, and Jacob Lawrence.
Wednesdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 8. Continues through May 19, 2013

 
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