"In The Hands Of African American Collectors: The Personal Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey"

Pastor John J. Hunter and First Lady Denise Hunter along with the congregation of First AME Church of Los Angeles commend longtime FAME Members Bernard and Shirley Kinsey for their ongoing work with the Kinsey Collection.

Pastor John J. Hunter said "Bernard and Shirley Kinsey are two of the most dedicated members of our esteemed congregation." Mrs. Denise Hunter said "They are givers and the gift that they have given to the world is to be admired, treasured and celebrated." Mr. Kinsey is a member of the Board of Stewards of First AME Church of Los Angeles. Mr. and Mrs. Kinsey are the faithful sponsors of the First AME Church Sunday Morning Radio Broadcast which can be heard across Sothern California Sunday’s at 10:30 AM on KJLH 102.3 FM and on the internet around the world via KJLH kjlhradio.com.

Please visit the Kinsey Collection website: http://thekinseycollection.com

Bernard and Shirley Kinsey

The Kinsey Collection is an extensive exhibition drawn from the artistic and historical treasures collected by California residents, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey. the Kinsey Collection: The Personal Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey presents the journey of the Kinsey’s as they embrace and acquire art and artifacts. From rarely seen slave owners’ documents and brilliant expressions in paint to glimpses into private eighteenth and nineteenth-century lives, the Kinsey Collection reflects a rich cultural and historical heritage which they hope to preserve for future generations.

The Kinsey Collection includes works of art by important African American artists such as Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Sam Gilliam, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, and Henry O. Tanner; as well as historical documents and artifacts of Benjamin Banneker, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Ann Jacobs, Alain Locke, Phillis Wheatley, and Malcolm X. When viewed as a whole, the ninety plus objects reveal important aspects of American history and culture.

“Art is precious, but historical documents are rare,” says Bernard Kinsey.

Christina Orr-Cahall, Director of the Norton Museum of Art, added “To have members of our own community develop and share with us their outstanding collection of African American art and historical pieces is extraordinary. We are most grateful to Bernard and Shirley Kinsey for letting us learn through seeing some of the incredible achievements of African Americans in the last four centuries. Each and every one of us of us should make certain that we take advantage of this experience”.

Bernard, the former Xerox vice president who became chief operating officer and co-chair of Rebuild Los Angeles in Los Angeles in 1992, and his wife Shirley, have been collecting for more than 35 years. They started collecting as a way to savor and share their travels, but their art soon became a repository for African American intellectual, historic and artistic works. A vast array of art, artifacts and historical documents fill their home and reinforce the Kinsey's’ philosophy that tangible objects are evidence of history.

As the Kinsey's evolved as collectors, they began to identify and collect the work of artists who make up and define African American art, such as Lane, Tina Allen, Ernie Barnes, Ed Dwight and Richard Mayhew. Moreover, they collect documents that illuminate historical moments. They see themselves as caretakers of their collection, their ownership temporary. They say, “We’ve assembled our vision and interests. The next stewards may take it elsewhere.”