The California Museum and the California Legislative Black Caucus Present: African American Treasures: History and Art from the Collection of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey
(Sacramento, California) – The California Legislative Black Caucus and The California Museum present African American Treasures: History and Art from the Collection of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey in celebration of Black History Month. Opening February 6, 2010, the exhibit illustrates the African American experience through various forms of art and historical objects over several centuries.
Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, Los Angeles-based collectors, have been acquiring their wealth of treasures over the past three decades with the intent of preserving and presenting key aspects of America’s black heritage. Their extremely diverse collection spans three centuries of politics, art, literature and culture as it tells a remarkable story of hardship, courage, and resilience.
Senator Curren Price and the California Legislative Black Caucus approached The California Museum to present a unique viewing experience of this collection that will engage and inspire people of all ages, races and backgrounds.
“The Kinsey Collection exhibit is an important collection of art and history that reflects the unique experience of the African American Community before and since the Mayflower sailed to America. It is significant that we spotlight this collection during Black History month, because it reflects a story that every member of California’s diverse population can relate to,” said Senator Price. “We are pleased that The California Museum will make this exhibit available to citizens of all ages who visit the state capital.“
Visitors can expect to view a copy of the first cookbook written by an African American woman in the same gallery as a photograph of WPA muralist Charles White taken by photographer/film director Gordon Parks. Visitors can read the letter a slave girl carried, unaware that its contents dictated that she be sold away from her family, near an 1890 oil by still-life painter Charles Ethan Porter.
Exhibit highlights include:
- A rare Mathew Brady portrait of Hiram Rhoades Revels, the first black US Senator
- Letters from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X
- New Guinea and Malawi artifacts
- Sculptures by Ed Dwight, Artis Lane and Vickson Kaphambe
- Several historical documents from the era of slavery
- Artwork by African American artists dating from 1870 to present
“This exhibit creates a learning experience that is rich with emotional and historical value, with pieces that are both deeply moving and surprisingly inspirational,” said Amanda Meeker, deputy director of Exhibits and Programming at The California Museum.
The California Museum is currently featuring two other art exhibits focused on cultural realizations in California. The original artwork on display in the California Hall of Fame by inductee Fritz Scholder forever changed the perception of Native Americans in art. Opening in January 2010, Under the Dragon, a photography exhibit, takes on the cultural melting pot of Northern California – rich with juxtapositions, old world traditions and metropolitan multiplicity.
African American Treasures closes April 2010.
About The California Museum
The California Museum – home of the California Hall of Fame and California Legacy Trails – engages, educates and enlightens people about California’s rich history and its unique contribution to the world through ideas, innovation, art and culture. Through captivating, interactive and innovative experiences, the Museum seeks to inspire men, women and children to dream the California dream and dare to make their mark on history. Open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. Noon-5 p.m.; Adults $8.50, Students/Seniors (with valid I.D.) $7, Children 6-13 $6.00; Free for Children 5 and Younger. Parking is free on the weekends. CaliforniaMuseum.org