Famous Kinsey Collection Owners Discuss African American Art With Students

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) --  It's everything you didn't learn in history class, at least that's how Bernard Kinsey describes his family's one of a kind art collection.

"We have a saying the only thing new is the history you don't know," Bernard Kinsey said. He and his wife started the Kinsey collection out of a personal infatuation with art and history.

The national touring exhibit has been featured in the Smithsonian and parts of it still remain in Epcot at Disney World. Throughout the 24 museums and past 11 years of non-stop traveling the art tells a story of American history that everyone can be apart of.

"Each student can see no matter what their background, color, creed can see themselves as being participants in this kind of living history and how this history has affected all of them in various ways," said their son and curator Khalil Kinsey.

U of A student Allyana Bradshaw lived in Harrison, Arkansas for part of her childhood. Even though the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is headquartered there, slavery and race were rarely topics of conversation.

"We didn't talk about it, and if we don't talk about it we can't have an open discussion and we can't start finding ways to figure out a solution to the problem." Bradshaw said.

Bernard, Shirley and their son Khalil were blown away with the response they received from students.

"I was delighted to see the type of questions that were asked because it shows that there's a thirst for this knowledge," Shirley Kinsey said.

Although they didn't bring the physical exhibit with them they were able to take students on a virtual tour of their collection through a slide show lecture.