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Collecting African American Art with Kerry Davis

October 12, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Louis Delsarte, Reconciliation (Detail), 2007, Mixed media on board, Kerry & C. Betty Davis Collections

10/11/2019 3:30PM.  ATTENTION. Collecting African American Art with Kerry Davis is SOLD-OUT. But don’t worry!  You are still welcome to come to the Artists Archives. If registered guests cancel or do not attend, their seats will be released to non-registered guests. The exhibition will be on view in the other two galleries during the presentation, and all are welcome to participate in the meet n’ greet at the end of the program!  Please arrive by 12:55pm as Mr. Davis will begin shortly after 1. The presentation should run approximately 45 minutes – 1hr.


This Fall, as part of the seenUNseen exhibition, the Artists Archives is pleased to host a series of programs which promote the visibility of regional artists of color. seenUNseen, held in partnership with The Sculpture Center and presented by the Cleveland Foundation, combines work from the Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art with a curated response of Northeast Ohio creators. The show, which opens September 20, features over 100 paintings, sculptures, textiles and mixed media pieces, and includes some of the nation’s most significant emerging and established African American artists.


Collecting African American Art with Kerry Davis is presented by the Cleveland Foundation and will be held at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve on Saturday, October 12, from 1-3pm.


In this illustrated lecture, Kerry Davis describes his 30-year journey collecting African American art with his wife C. Betty Davis, and how they built their world-class collection using only modest middle-class means.


As Kerry describes, “I want to share how I started- working as a postman and my wife as a television director/producer. Through our partnership we managed to acquire major and unseen artists. You don’t have to be wealthy or an art student to appreciate art– there are different ways to collect… I want to share some of my steps and fortunate encounters as I followed my passion.” This 45-minute presentation will explore Kerry’s unique approach to collecting and trace how a desire to decorate his suburban home transformed into a pursuit that shaped his family’s lives.


Kerry will share his methods of selecting artists and works as well as the “significance of why” he collects art and feels it is so important to tell his story. The program will conclude with Kerry describing his interactions with artists he has “had the pleasure of working with over the years,” sharing memorable experiences, and commenting on his most prized works.


Collecting African American Art is FREE, however, please register as seating is limited. Reserve your spot by clicking HERE or by calling 216.721.9020. Join the conversation on Facebook HERE


More about our speaker:

Kerry Davis: The story of the Davis Collection begins in Atlanta, where Kerry worked as a postman and his wife as a television producer. Over 30 years, on a modest budget, they amassed a collection of over 300 paintings, works on paper and sculpture which includes some of the nation’s most significant emerging and established African American artists. This vibrant body of work now covers every inch of the Davis’ suburban residence, transforming the space into an “in home museum” that provides community access to the important, and often “unseen”, legacy of American artists of color. Their collection includes artists such as Charles White, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Richard Hunt, Romare Bearden, Sedrick Huckaby, Richard Mayhew, Sam Gilliam, and Mildred Thompson.



October 12, 2019
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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