Announcement
January 10, 2022

The Cultivators: Highlights from the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection

Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine University

Hughie Lee-Smith, Untitled, 1951. Oil on masonite.

 

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

 

 

Augusta Savage, Gamin, 1929. Plaster.

Pepperdine University’s Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art presents the exhibition The Cultivators: Highlights from the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection, featuring masterful works of art, photographs, rare books, letters, and manuscripts that chronicle the achievements and contributions of African Americans over the last five centuries. Curated by Khalil Kinsey and Larry Earl, The Cultivators includes some of the collection’s signature objects, which have traveled the globe to more than 30 venues over the last 15 years, along with works that have never before been shown publicly. Marking the first major hometown presentation of the Kinsey Collection since 2007, The Cultivators will be on view at the Weisman Museum of Art from January 15 to March 27, 2022.

Representing the intersection between art and history, the exhibition covers the lives, accomplishments, and artistry of African Americans from the 16th century through the years of slavery and emancipation, to the Civil Rights Movement and up to the present day. Important objects include bills of sale, advertisements, letters, and legal papers documenting the slave trade; hand-colored tintypes from the Civil War era; art and literature from the Harlem Renaissance; and items spotlighting key moments in the Civil Rights Movement, which are linked in this presentation to the story of the 1963 student protests at Florida A&M University. Bernard and Shirley Kinsey began their journey together at Florida A&M before eventually settling in California, where they both earned graduate degrees from Pepperdine University and raised a son, Khalil, who now serves as chief operating officer and chief curator of the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection and Foundation.

The Kinseys’ art collection reflects their journey of self-discovery, respective upbringings, and shared experiences. Discovering new places and ideas through travel has shaped their vision of themselves as cultural caretakers of Black history and culture, charged with sharing it with the world. The Cultivators charts a history of African American art through more than 30 exemplary works by celebrated figures, including Ernie Barnes, John Biggers, Bisa Butler, Elizabeth Catlett, Robert S. Duncanson, Sam Gilliam, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Augusta Savage, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and many more.

The Cultivators: Highlights from the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection is organized by the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Foundation for Arts & Education and KBK Enterprises, Incorporated, with major support from AEG. Generous support has been provided by City National Bank and Patron Sponsors Eileen and Sam Lagana and Kathy and Greg Outcalt. Additional support for the Center for the Arts is provided by The Office of the Chancellor of Pepperdine University, Anne Marie and Mitch Bredefeld, Crest Associates, Melanie and Richard Flamminio, Lisa Freer, David Huenergardt, Billie Milam Weisman, and Lisa Smith Wengler, as well as by Mary and Tom Hawkins, Michelle and Mark Hiepler, Ellen and Doug Weitman, The Anza Hotel, Shelley and Rick Bayer, Debby and Andy Benton, Marguerite Brown, Kathy and Lou Colombano, Mark DiPaola, Food Fetish Catering, Sara and Sam Jackson, Marmalade Cafe, Marnie and Tom Mitze, Lucy and Tim Perrin, Nancy and Jeff Pippin, and Diane Reilly.

Admission
Admission is always free, but advance reservations are required. Book your visit here.

Public programs
Join us for an opening celebration on Saturday, February 19, 2022 from noon to 5pm, with exhibition tours, food trucks, live music, activities for children and families, and a multimedia presentation by the Kinsey family. The celebration is free of charge and open to the public; advance reservations required.

For additional information about public programs, follow the Weisman Museum of Art on Instagram and Facebook.

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