American Airlines To Display Legendary Black Art Collection In Select Airports
By DeAnna Taylor
Bernard and Shirley Kinsey are no strangers to travel. The couple vowed that travel would be an integral part of their marriage in 1967. During their trips to more than 100 countries, they always made sure to collect cultural art and artifacts to remember.
When the couple had their son Khalil, they wanted to make sure that he would grow to love and appreciate art, travel, and culture just like them. They would take him to different art shows and auctions around the world. At the age of 10, Khalil bid on and acquired his first piece of art at a silent auction. It was titled “As Violence” by artist Pheobe Beasley.
Fast forward to today. The family has now acquired an entire private collections of items that highlight the history, struggles, and success of Black history dating back to 1595. The collection features everything from master artworks, first-edition books, and historical documents.
Khalil now serves as curator and general manager of the family business. He, along with his parents, travel the world to display and present the collection to people from all walks of life and cultures.
“People want to know and learn more about Black American culture,” Khalil tells Travel Noire. “My parents have always been about impact. They opened my eyes to different cultures, their differences, and even similarities at a young age.”
“Our collection connects the dots of Black history from 1595 until now. We want people to be able to have an understanding and in turn, gain an appreciation for Black culture through our art and artifacts.”
Over the years, the family has racked up millions of miles while flying with American Airlines. They have visited over 26 U.S. cities and even as far as Hong Kong to present the collection. It was no surprise when American Airlines made the decision to partner with the Kinsey family to display some of their pieces in selected Admirals Club lounges.
“American Airlines wanted to continue to amplify the collection,” LaKesha Brown, an American Airlines spokeswoman, says. “Airlines were designed to bring people closer to their heart’s desire and that is what we hope to do by displaying this amazing collection. This is the first time American has done anything like this and it was simply the perfect pairing.”
You can find pieces from The Kinsey African American Art and History Collection in the Admirals Club lounges of Dallas Fort Worth International, Los Angeles International, and Miami International from February 6-20. All other airports will run a video piece highlighting the collection in the lounges.
“We plan to open up the collection and roll it out to an even larger audience next year,” Brown stated. “We want more people to develop a passion for the arts.”
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.