Albany State University will display works from the Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art today through August. by Learn more in the Albany State announcement below.
Albany State University (ASU) is pleased to announce the art exhibit for Memories and Inspiration: The Carey and C. Betty Davis African American Art Collection, which celebrates the passion of an ordinary couple who spent more than 35 years as dedicated connoisseurs building a collection of vivid works of art that are both resonant and remarkably personal. Memories and inspiration will be on display in the Arthur R. Berry Gallery at the Dr. Fine Arts Center. Joseph W. Holley at ASU from July 11 to August 24. Regular gallery hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, or by appointment. Please contact Charles Williams at [email protected] to inquire about individual or group visits.
Memories and Inspiration: The Kerry and S. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art consists of 67 selected works of art collected over 35 years. Kerry, a retired postman, and Betty, a former television news producer, happily gave up many ordinary comforts to live with extraordinary paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures as their ultimate luxury. Their collection includes works by Romar Bearden, Beverly Buchanan, Elizabeth Catlett, Ernest T. Critchlow, Sam Gilliam, Lois Maylow Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Gordon Parks, Alma Thomas and Charles White, but Kerry and Betty are not looking for exceptionally well-known and/ or documented artists. Rather, they focus on the more meaningful task of collecting and preserving a range of artistic approaches to the black image to comfort the psyche and contribute to a more authentic articulation of the self.
The result is an eclectic collection of works cutting across different mediums, themes and styles from a group of artists from the African diaspora who – in terms of training, experience and expression – are strikingly diverse yet unified in their use of cultural and historical narratives. As their collection grew, so did the Davies’ storehouse of memories of discovering new works of art, building friendships with artists, and talking with museum professionals and other collectors in their home. Memories and Inspiration brings together an inspiring selection of works, but their personal resonance – their connection to the hopes, passions and everyday lives of the Davies family – is what gives the collection its unique power.
Scheduled US tour dates for Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art can be found here.
ABOUT THE COLLECTION: Kerry Davis, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is a former United States Air Force Sergeant, a retired United States Postal Service carrier, and an ordained deacon. He began collecting in the mid-1980s in partnership with his wife, Betty, who shared his passion for art. Originally started with the modest goal of enhancing the interior decor of their mid-century split-level home in suburban Atlanta, the Davis family’s collection has grown to over 300 works by some of the twentieth century’s most prominent African-American artists. Inspired by previous generations of African American art collectors who understood the importance of preserving cultural expression, memory and imagery, Davis strives to contribute to this legacy and be a source of inspiration to others in the community. The Davis residence—dubbed a “house museum” by neighbors, parishioners, and friends—served as a meeting place and cultural center for artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts. Kerry and Betty have two children and one granddaughter.