MoAD | Press Room: Kinsey Collection – Exhibition Description

The Cultivators, 2000, Samuel L. Dunson, Jr., Oil on canvas

The Cultivators, 2000, Samuel L. Dunson, Jr., Oil on canvas


The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, Where Art and History Intersect offers an inspirational journey through five centuries of African American history, culture and heritage. Presented as part of MoAD’s Collector’s Series, the exhibition celebrates Bernard and Shirley Kinsey’s passion for collecting objects of extraordinary significance over the 40 years of their marriage.

One of the largest private collections of African American artifacts, documents and artwork, the Kinsey collection of rare books and manuscripts, paintings, prints, sculpture, and photographs includes an early version of the Emancipation Proclamation, correspondence between Malcolm X and Alex Haley, slave shackles, a 1773 first-edition copy of poems by Phillis Wheatley, a 1795 Bannaker’s Almanack, 18th and 19th-century slave documents, letters by Zora Neale Hurston and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and fine art by luminaries such as Henry O. Tanner, Artis Lane, Richmond Barthé, Elizabeth Catlett, Samuel L. Dunson, Lois Mailou Jones, Richard Mayhew, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, and more.

On view at MoAD from February 8 to May 19, 2013.

The exhibition is organized by The Bernard & Shirley Kinsey Foundation for Arts & Education and KBK Enterprises, Incorporated.

Presented by Wells Fargo


Honoring the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation


The Kinsey Collection is a national touring exhibit of authentic and rare art, artifacts, books, documents and manuscripts that tell the often untold story of African American achievement and contribution.

Bernard and Shirley Kinsey are guided by the principals of “to whom much is given, much is required”, and strive to live “a life of no regrets”. Brought together by activism and married more than four decades, the successful couple has raised millions of dollars for numerous organizations and college programs, including their alma mater, Florida A&M University. They have a passion for African American history, art and culture and, in one of the largest private collections of African American art, have amassed artifacts, documents and artwork spanning 400 years of history.

With education as a goal, The Kinsey Collection has been on national tour since 2007, and has been seen by over 3 million visitors. The collection has exhibited at the California African American Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The DuSable Museum of African American History, The Norton Museum of Art, The Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science, and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The collection has been cited in 3 national awards including the President’s National Award for Museum and Library Services.

The Kinsey Collection coffee table book is a 198-page must read that serves as a companion to the exhibit and has been adopted by the Florida Department of Education to teach African American history to students in grades K-12 statewide. The curriculum is available through iTunes U.

An EBook (Enhanced Book) application is in development for iPad and other tablet platforms, that will be available in early 2013.

The Kinsey Collection exhibit will be on display through 2013 and into 2014, starting at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, CA and then traveling to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture in Charlotte, NC and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore, MD. A portion of The Kinsey Collection will be on display in the American Pavilion of Epcot Center at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida opening in late winter 2013.