Contact: Will Jones
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Exhibition Schedule Redefines African American Identity and Representation in History and the Arts
Rare Art, Artifacts, Manuscripts and Currencies Will Illustrate the Black Experience in America
CINCINNATI, OH (August 22, 2017) –The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center announces its upcoming exhibition schedule today, featuring The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection presented by Macy’s, opening November 4, 2017, and Confederate Currency: The Color of Money presented by BB&T, opening Spring 2018. Each exhibition’s unique collection will challenge and redefine African American identity and representation in history and the arts.
Bernard and Shirley Kinsey have a passion for African American history, art and culture and, one of the largest private collections of African American art. Together they have collectively amassed artifacts, documents and artwork spanning 400 years of history. Brought together by activism and married more than four decades, the Kinsey collection features work by Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence and Richard Mayhew alongside archival material related to Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston and Malcolm X. The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection, presented by Macy’s, has been exhibited at the California African American Museum, 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 for three national awards one of which includes the President’s National Award for Museum and Library Services.
Confederate Currency: The Color of Money presented by BB&T, opening at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Spring 2018, investigates the importance of slavery in the economy of the South. Artist John W. Jones researched and documented over 126 images of slavery that were depicted on Confederate and Southern States money. The juxtaposition of the framed Confederate currencies with the acrylic paintings inspired by the slave images on the currencies makes a very powerful statement on the contribution of enslaved Africans to the American economy. In these paintings, as Jones says, “history informs art, which in turn artfully reveals more history.” Confederate Currency has been exhibited at Avery Research Center Museum, African American Museum and Library at Oakland, Louisiana State University, Schumacher Gallery and the Augusta Museum of History. Jones was recently presented with the U.S. Consul General’s Award for Cultural Diplomacy at an American Gullah culture and heritage workshop hosted by the Academia delle Belle Arti of Brera in Italy.
“We cannot wait to share the multitude of stories contained within these two powerful exhibitions in the coming year,” says Dr. Ashley Jordan, Curator at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “Remembering, celebrating, examining and commemorating the black experience via the collection of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey and the artistic talents of John W. Jones, is something we invite all to participate in. African American history is American history.”
The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection, presented by Macy’s, opens at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on November 4, 2017. Confederate Currency: The Color of Money, presented by BB&T, opens in Spring 2018. Admission for each exhibit is $5.00 per person with general admission. For more information about exhibits and programming at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, visit freedomcenter.org.
About National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, more than 1.3 million people have visited its permanent and changing exhibits and public programs, inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom. Two million people have utilized educational resources online at freedomcenter.org, working to connect the lessons of the Underground Railroad to inform and inspire today’s global and local fight for freedom. Partnerships include Historians Against Slavery, Polaris Project, Free the Slaves, US Department of State and International Justice Mission. In 2014, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launched a new online resource in the fight against modern slavery, endslaverynow.org.