Purvis Young work on view at Auburn University museum through Dec.

Untitled, undated Purvis Young work currently on view at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University through December 30. Courtesy of the estate of Larry T. Clemons. Image copyright Artist Rights Society


Circa-1980s signed Purvis Young work, painted on a discarded wooden tabletop, currently on view at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University through December 30. Courtesy of the estate of Larry T. Clemons. Copyright Larry T. Clemons, Artist Rights Society New York

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – The estate of Larry T. Clemons announced a Purvis Young painting recently donated to the Bernard & Shirley Kinsey Foundation for Arts & Education is now on display at Auburn University as part of the Kinsey African American Art & History Collection exhibit at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art through December 30.

Clemons was a prolific collector and gallery owner who fell in love with Purvis Young’s artwork and Purvis Young, the person. Their relationship began professionally and progressed into a lifelong friendship. Clemons devoted much of his career to promoting Purvis Young’s artwork, and in his later years, he meticulously cataloged the many personal items, photos and documents he had preserved pertaining to Young.

Purvis Young (1943-2010) was a prolific American artist from the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, Florida. Self-taught, Young’s work was often a blend of collage and painting and drawing, utilizing discarded objects to tell the stories of the African American experience in the south. His work can be found in the collections of the Smithsonian African American Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The estate of Larry T. Clemons selected the Kinsey African American Art & History Collection to receive the Purvis Young work because it celebrates the achievements and contributions of Black Americans from 1595 to present times. Considered one of the most comprehensive surveys of African American history and culture outside the Smithsonian Institution, the exhibition of the same name primarily features the shared treasures amassed by Shirley and Bernard Kinsey during their five decades of marriage. The collection includes painting, sculpture, photography, rare books, letters and manuscripts that offer a well-rounded look at the African American experience and provide new perspectives on the nation’s history and culture.

Visit the website of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University and see its dedicated page for the Kinsey African American Art & History Collection.