Lydia’s House guests, staff and associate volunteers took a trip to The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in downtown Cincinnati to check out The Kinsey African American Art & History Collection, one of the largest private collections of African American art, artifacts and documents- spanning 400 years of history, on display through March 3, 2018.

Amassed during more than four decades of the Kinseys’ marriage, the 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 collection has been cited for three national awards, one of which includes the President’s National Award for Museum and Library Services.

The exhibit challenges and redefines African American identity and representation in history and the arts. We were amazed to learn of the many stories that span from even before the era of the Underground Railroad. It was a very powerful experience to share with one another.

As Bernard Kinsey shared during the exhibit’s opening reception, “We are honored to return to Cincinnati with an even larger collection that is especially important during these critical times for people to gain a deeper understanding of our history as a nation. The real history of African American triumphs and contributions should no longer remain a secret. It should explode into our collective conscience.”

Here at Lydia’s House, as we look from the past and into the future, we couldn’t agree more.