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The Cultivators: Highlights from the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection

Organized by the Bernard & Shirley Kinsey Foundation for Arts & Education and KBK Enterprises, Incorporated

January 15–March 27, 2022

Opening Celebration: Saturday, February 19, Noon–5PM

Free reservations required.

Pepperdine University’s Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art presents the exhibition The Cultivators: Highlights from the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection, featuring masterful works of art, photographs, rare books, letters, and manuscripts that chronicle the achievements and contributions of African Americans over the last five centuries. Curated by Khalil Kinsey and Larry Earl, The Cultivators includes some of the collection’s signature objects, which have traveled the globe to more than 30 venues over the last 15 years, along with works that have never before been shown publicly. Marking the first major hometown presentation of the Kinsey Collection since 2007, The Cultivators will be on view at the Weisman Museum of Art from January 15 to March 27, 2022.

Representing the intersection between art and history, the exhibition covers the lives, accomplishments, and artistry of African Americans from the 16th century through the years of slavery and emancipation, to the Civil Rights Movement and up to the present day. Important objects include bills of sale, advertisements, letters, and legal papers documenting the slave trade; hand-colored tintypes from the Civil War era; art and literature from the Harlem Renaissance; and items spotlighting key moments in the Civil Rights Movement, which are linked in this presentation to the story of the 1963 student protests at Florida A&M University. Bernard and Shirley Kinsey began their journey together at Florida A&M before eventually settling in California, where they both earned graduate degrees from Pepperdine University and raised a son, Khalil, who now serves as chief operating officer and chief curator of the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection and Foundation.

The Kinseys’ art collection reflects their journey of self-discovery, respective upbringings, and shared experiences. Discovering new places and ideas through travel has shaped their vision of themselves as cultural caretakers of Black history and culture, charged with sharing it with the world. The Cultivators charts a history of African American art through more than 30 exemplary works by celebrated figures, including Ernie Barnes, John Biggers, Bisa Butler, Elizabeth Catlett, Robert S. Duncanson, Sam Gilliam, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Augusta Savage, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and many more.

A fully illustrated catalogue documenting the Kinsey Collection is available for purchase at the museum, along with an edited volume exploring the collection’s major figures and themes.

The Cultivators: Highlights from the Kinsey African American Art and History Collection is organized by the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Foundation for Arts & Education and KBK Enterprises, Incorporated, with major support from AEG. Generous support has been provided by City National Bank and Patron Sponsors Eileen and Sam Lagana and Kathy and Greg Outcalt. Additional support for the Center for the Arts is provided by the Office of the Chancellor of Pepperdine University, Anne Marie and Mitch Bredefeld, Crest Associates, Melanie and Richard Flamminio, Lisa Freer, David Huenergardt, Billie Milam Weisman, and Lisa Smith Wengler, as well as by Mary and Tom Hawkins, Michelle and Mark Hiepler, Ellen and Doug Weitman, The Anza Hotel, Shelley and Rick Bayer, Debby and Andy Benton, Marguerite Brown, Kathy and Lou Colombano, Mark DiPaola, Food Fetish Catering, Sara and Sam Jackson, Marmalade Cafe, Marnie and Tom Mitze, Lucy and Tim Perrin, Nancy and Jeff Pippin, and Diane Reilly.

Kinsey Exhibition Sponsor Logos

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Saturday, February 19, 2022, noon–5PM

The opening celebration for The Cultivators will take place on Saturday, February 19 from noon–5PM. The celebration will include exhibition tours, food trucks, live music, and activities for children and families.  The Kinsey family will lecture on “The Myth of Absence” in Elkins Auditorium at 3 PM. The day-long celebration and parking are both free of charge and open to the general public; advance registration is required.

The day's performances include concerts by Jazzy Ash, Masanga Marimba, and DJ Monalisa. Children of all ages will be able to participate in a collaborative paper quilt art project inspired by Bisa Butler's quilted artworks. 

Guests will also be able to participate in both self-guided and guided tours of The Cultivators throughout the day. 

Food trucks scheduled for the event include D Lo's Kitchen, Wings N' Waffles, and Happy Ice

For directions to Pepperdine, visit our Plan Your Visit page here.

Click here for details on parking.



Visit thekinseycollection.com and follow the Kinsey Collection on Instagram and Facebook. You can also find many works from the collection on Google Arts and Culture.

The Kinseys have been profiled on a number of podcasts and TV shows, including the Today Show:


January 15–March 27, 2022




Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art

Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts logo

Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art


Open Wednesday–Sunday, 11 AM–5 PM
and one hour prior to most shows through intermission

Free Admission