The extensive private art collection of Bill and Camille Cosby opens to the public Sunday at the Smithsonian Institution as part of a major exhibition.
More than 60 rarely seen African-American artworks from the Cosby collection are being displayed alongside 100 pieces of African works at the National Museum of African Art in Washington. The exhibition will be on view through early 2016.
The comedian and his wife began collecting as newlyweds in 1967. Bill Cosby credits his wife for much of it, saying he grew up in a housing project where the walls held only a clock, a picture of Jesus and cutouts from Ebony magazine. Camille Cosby tells The Associated Press that they didn’t collect to increase their assets, but because they wanted to live with these works, and to expose their children and grandchildren to positive images of African-Americans.