Works in the Collection
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Joseph Artur Kersey was born in Chicago; his birthdate is variably listed as 1908 (Igoe Lynn. 250 years of Afro-American Art), 1909 (Cederholm); 1918 (Locke. The Negro As Artist). He was educated in the Chicago public schools and attended the Art Institute there. Selected Exhibitions: Chicago Artists, 1938; Federal Arts Project; American Negro Exhibition, Chicago, where he received an honorable mention in 1940; Atlanta University, Howard University, Library of Congress, Anacostia Museum, Atlanta University, DuSable Museum of African American History Collections: Johnson Publishing Co., Barnett-Aden Collection.
James Amos Porter (1905-1970) wrote in Modern Negro Art: “Kersey is especially noteworthy because of his long career as a professionally exhibiting artist and his enviable record as an art teacher at the University of Chicago Settlement House, Hull House, and the South Side Settlement, Chicago. As an interpreter of racial subjects, Kersey exercises the forbearance and good taste one would expect of an artist who, in temperament and approach to sculpture, recalls Luca della Robbia of the Renascence. In his diversification of surface through the use of polychromy and lining and flecking, Kersey is interesting; and, indeed, in this respect he may be included among the more versatile of North American ceramists.”