Meghan Markle and Prince Harry amplify Black art with a star-studded special event

Tina Knowles and David Oyelowo were present as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hosted a celebration of the Kinsey Collection.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the Duchess of Sussex and Duke of Sussex, attend the 2022 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Gala at New York Hilton in December 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

African-American art earned a royal endorsement when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — hosted “An Evening of Art” on Thursday, March 21, honoring The Kinsey African American Art and History Collection at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California, where the exhibit debuted during Super Bowl LVI 2022. Last month’s event was the result of a partnership between the Sussexes’ Archewell Foundation and The Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Foundation for Art and Education.

The award-winning and traveling collection, lauded as “one of the most extensive holdings of African-American art artifacts, and documents,” was curated by Khalil Kinsey.

Per a release on the Archewell Foundation website: “The Duke and Duchess joined guests on a private tour of the exhibit, which was followed by a moderated conversation with Bernard, Shirley and Khalil Kinsey, trailblazers in the art and philanthropy community who have dedicated their lives to uplifting and celebrating prolific art and culture in the context of Black America.”

In attendance at the intimate event were several well-known faces, including Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland. Ragland was seen posing with another famous matriarch, Tina Knowles, in an Instagram gallery posted by The Kinsey Collection. Actor and Mansa Mix founder David Oyelowo was also in attendance, accompanied by his eldest son, musician Asher Yelo.

The group viewed works dating from 1595 to the present day, including selections by Jacob Lawrence, Ernie Barnes and contemporary quilt artist Bisa Butler. Making her own artistic statement, Markle was spotted wearing a hand-embroidered capelet jacket and trousers by Carolina Herrera.

“The Kinsey family was honored to partner with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” the collection’s post read, in part, further sharing that “Chief Curator Khalil Kinsey toured the Duke and Duchess, and an array of industry leaders around the exhibition.” During the discussion that followed, moderated by Christine Messineo, director of Frieze LA and NY, “the group discussed the history and significance of Black art and how various communities can work together to preserve this vital piece of American history.”

“The work that we do is an agent to support new information that nourishes and that helps you evolve,” Kinsey explained in a 2023 interview with Flaunt magazine. “I think in America as a whole, we are operating with a very small fraction of information that stunts our growth.”

The Kinsey Collection closed at Sofi Stadium on March 31; works from the collection are now on view at the Holocaust Museum Houston through June 23.

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