Kinsey Collection Announcement

Gov. Asa Hutchinson joined the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC), lawmakers, city leaders and others Friday to announce the April opening of the Kinsey Collection exhibit at the downtown museum of African-American history.

The impressive Kinsey Collection includes authentic and rare art, original artifacts, books, documents, etc., that tell a more complete story of the black experience in America. The collection has received national acclaim and has been featured at the DuSable Museum of African American History, the American Pavilion of Epcot Center at Walt Disney World and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

“It’s going to be an exciting time for our state, for our students, all members of Arkansas to come and share in that history and learn of that history,” Gov. Hutchinson said during his remarks.

“I think that Bernard Kinsey, one of the exhibit owners, said it best: ‘The real history of African American triumphs and contributions should no longer remain a secret. It should explode into our classrooms and our collective conscious.’ That is really what is important about this collection,” he said. “I want to promote this center, I want to promote African American history, our understanding of it, our recognition of it and our celebration of it.”

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center will premiere the Kinsey Collection for the first time ever in Arkansas, with the exhibit opening April 8 and running to July 2.

The exhibit is named for its creators, Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, who began collecting art and artifacts as they explored their own ancestral heritage. Today their collection includes thousands of pieces, acquired from around the globe and the Kinseys share them with the world in a traveling exhibition.

“I’m proud to welcome the Kinseys and their exhibit to our state for the first time, and I invite every Arkansan to see this important collection,” said Stacy Hurst, Department of Arkansas Heritage director. “We expect people to come not just from around Arkansas, but from our neighboring states to take part in this experience because many of these pieces can’t be seen elsewhere.”

Hurst said MTCC and DAH are working in collaboration with several entities to spread the word about the exhibit that’s expected to be a tourism boon for the city.

Also in attendance at the announcement were: members of the state legislature, a representative from U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton’s office, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, Ward 1 Director Erma Hendrix, representatives from the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Clinton School of Public Service, where Bernard Kinsey is scheduled to present at noon on April 6 as part of the school’s Distinguished Lecturer Series, said Dean Skip Rutherford.

Information Contact:
Melissa Whitfield – 501-324-9611 – [email protected]