Black Meetings and Tourism

September/October 2010

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 68

BY PATRICIA ANN JORDAN The Kinsey ColleCTion andMore H ellomy ever faithful readers. Wow! It seems like this year ismoving faster than the speed of light. Well not quite, but pretty fast. Fast year or not, the world of museums continues to be exciting and thriving. Check out what is happening at the National Museum of AfricanAmerican History and Culture, (NMAAHC), the 19th Smithsonian Institution museum. It’s The Kinsey Collection: Nearly Four Centuries of African American History from October 15, 2010 throughMay 3, 2011. Throughout their more than 40-year marriage, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey have explored and celebrated their African-American heritage by collect- ing items of historical and cultural sig- nificance. From an early version of the Emancipation Proclamation to corre- spondence between Malcolm X and AlexHaley and fromslave shackles to a 1773 first-edition copy of the first book ever published in the United States by an African-American, the collection spans nearly four centuries and documents the hardships and the triumphs of theAfrican- American experience. More than 100 items from this collec- tion are brought together for a new exhi- bition organized by the Kinseys in col- laborationNMAAHC. Among the items are rare, hand-colored tintypes from the Civil War Era and searing black-and- white photographs from the Civil Rights Era. A history of the African-American in art is charted through works by numerous celebrated artists including Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, Lois Mailou Jones, Palmer Hayden, Artis Lane, James Porter, and Henry O.Tanner. The exhibition is presented in four sec- tions. Featured highlights: “Stories from Slavery” spotlights objects, letters, and doc- uments offering an unflinching look at slavery from the per- spective of Africans who survived it, Union soldiers who fought it, and slave owners who perpetuated it. Among the documents is one done in ink,whichshows“HenryButler buys 12 the freedom of his wife and four children for $100 in 1839.” Among the publications isHarrietAnn Jacob’s autobiography, “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” which she wrote and published in 1861 after spending seven years hiding from her owner in an attic crawl space. “The Struggle for Freedom” explores three different viewpoints of the African-American community’s efforts to advance – military stories, political milestones, and works of art celebrating place, identity and family. Highlights include a 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers Parade Flag, circa 1889 and a letter to President Theodore Roosevelt written in 1903 by a long-lost Kinsey relative decrying the South’s illegal practice of selling petty criminals – often innocent young Black men – to commercial mills and farms. Another museum to check out is theAfricanArtMuseum of Maryland (AAMM), located in Historic Oakland Columbia, Maryland. The museum was founded in 1980 by Doris Hillan Ligan. On view now is Goldweights from the Harold Courlander Collection;“Diversity of Forms and Ideas,” demonstrating the broad conventions ofAfrican art through masks.Also, exhibits showcasing musical instruments,household items,baskets and other significant collectibles. Plus,African Art: “For the Love of Ghana” which includes stools, textiles, jewelry and bas- kets.You can also viewAfricanArt from theHoward County (MD) Communities. Contacts: NMAAHC, (202) 633-4751 or and AAMM, (410) 730-7106 or www.africanartmuse- Editor’s note: The Smithsonian Board of Regents, the governing body of the Institution, voted in January 2006 to build NMAAHC on a five-acre site adjacent to theWashingtonMonument on theNationalMall.The building is scheduled to open in 2015. Until then NMAAHC presents its touring exhibitions inmajor cities across the country and in its own gallery at the NationalMuseumofAmericanHistory. Black Meetings & Tourism September/October 2010:

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Black Meetings and Tourism - September/October 2010