Wells Fargo Extends African American History Tour, Brings The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, Where Art and History Intersect

Wells Fargo Extends African American History Tour, Brings The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, Where Art and History Intersect

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Valerie Williams, 704.383.8025

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Wells Fargo Extends African American History Tour, Brings The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, Where Art and History Intersect

Exhibition to Atlanta and Houston

Tour poised to dispel myths, encourage dialogue and promote storytelling around African Americans in the making of America   

CHARLOTTE, NC March 20, 2014- As the nation commemorates the Civil War Sesquicentennial and the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) announces the extension of its national African American history celebratory tour through 2014, featuring renowned exhibition, The Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, Where Art and History Intersect.

The Kinsey Collection chronicles more than four hundred years of the contributions made by African Americans in American history. The collection includes artifacts and works of art demonstrating the artistic, historic, and cultural contributions and progress of African Americans. The exhibition features documents, artifacts, and photographs dating from 1600 to the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow years, and the Civil Rights Movement.

The exhibition has been seen at the Smithsonian Institution and 14 other venues, but never before in Atlanta or Houston.  As part of Wells Fargo’s 2013 celebratory tour honoring the 150th anniversary of The Emancipation Proclamation, it traveled to leading African American museums including the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, the Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte, and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore.

This year, the exhibition will contain more than 130 items, featuring never before displayed artifacts, including: a first edition of Solomon Northrup’s 12 Years a Slavethe basis of the Academy Award-winning film; W.E.B Dubois 1st edition copy of his ground breaking book Souls of Black Folks; and the earliest known African-American marriage record dating back to 1598.

Through these objects, The Kinsey Collection seeks to dispel myths and promote dialogue about the role of African Americans in the making of America. Wells Fargo invites visitors of the collection to contemplate the items displayed and to reflect on the progress that African Americans have made in civil rights and social justice, as well as consider the work remaining to achieve equality.

“Wells Fargo is excited to extend our national tour in collaboration with the Kinsey family. We are committed to sharing the stories of African Americans to recognize the heroes, and their collective experiences, which have helped define the American story,” says Lisa Frison, Wells Fargo, vice president, African American segment manager.

The role of African Americans in the art and culture of early America was far richer than commonly thought – a contribution that has endured and flourished. At the same time, the end of slavery with the Civil War did not end the exploitation, violence, and neglect of the previously enslaved and their descendants.  Only through strength and commitment to social justice did African Americans secure their civil and human rights as a result of the Civil Rights Movement and passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Bernard Kinsey, avid collector, philanthropist, and educator, began this collection over 35 years ago with his wife, Shirley, and son, Khalil. Bernard was inspired to begin his collection after viewing an original bill of sale of William Johnson sold for $550 in 1832.

“The Kinsey Collection strives to give our ancestors a voice, name, and personality, enabling the viewer to understand the challenges, obstacles, triumphs, and extraordinary sacrifice of African Americans who’ve greatly contributed to the success of this country,” says Bernard Kinsey.

The exhibition’s combination of original documents, rare books, paintings and other works of art, early photographs and modern sculptures creates a unique and diverse experience, bringing history to life through art and artifacts. As visitors walk through the exhibition, they are fully immersed in a story of struggle for freedom, equality, and expression in American history – leaving the experience both educated and inspired.

In addition to the traveling exhibit, Wells Fargo launched the Untold Stories: Our Inspired History campaign as a social extension of the tour. The campaign features a three-part short film series narrated by celebrity influencers, Jordin SparksLauren London, and Lance Gross, taking viewers through specific points in history highlighting artifacts from The Kinsey Collection. The campaign also multiple video vignettes featuring prominent lifestyle bloggers sharing their personal stories.

For more information on the Untold Stories: Our Inspired History campaign, please visit www.wellsfargo.com/kinseycollection.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.5 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 locations, 12,000 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 264,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2013 rankings of America’s largest corporations.  Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.  Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at blogs.wellsfargo.com.


The Kinsey Collection strives to Educate, Motivate & Inspire Americans to learn more about the remarkable contributions of African Americans in building America. The Kinsey Collection has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and scores of television/radio shows and newspapers/magazines nationally. It has been cited in three national awards including the nation’s highest honor, The President’s Medal for Museum and Library Services, and was selected as one of the “Top Ten exhibits to see in the world”. With their son Khalil, the Kinsey’s have developed a 198-page coffee table book that has been adopted by the State of Florida to teach African American history, and a companion lecture series titled “What You Didn’t Learn in High School History”. The Kinsey Collection exhibition has been on display in eight museums including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, with an iteration of the collection showing at EPCOT Center, Walt Disney World Resort through 2015.

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