August 18, 2021
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Press Contact: Ellen Anderson, Director of Development
860.443.2545 ext. 2136 / [email protected]


NEW LONDON – As the Lyman Allyn Art Museum prepares to say so long for now to the traveling exhibition, Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art, the Museum is pleased to announce the generous support of Dominion Energy, who provided a grant to the Lyman Allyn as part of Dominion Energy’s Social Justice Initiative.

Don’t miss this exceptional exhibition which is in its final week on view in the Museum’s upstairs galleries – through Sunday August 22, 2021. The Lyman Allyn is open and FREE to the public in summer 2021 through the support of Dominion Energy, The Governor of CT, Benchmark Wealth Management, and WSHU.

Celebrating the passion of Kerry and Betty Davis, of Atlanta, Georgia, who spent more than three decades building a collection of vivid artworks that are both resonant and remarkably personal, Memories & Inspiration is a must-see exhibition in New London, its only venue in the Northeast.

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art presents 62 selected works from a body of art amassed over 35 years. Kerry, a retired mailman, and Betty, a former television news producer, gladly gave up many ordinary comforts in order to live with extraordinary paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures as their principal luxuries. The collectors do not search exclusively for well-known and/or documented artists, however, they focus on the more meaningful task of gathering and preserving a range of artistic approaches to the black image.

As their collection has grown, so has the Davises’ storehouse of memories of discovering new works of art, building friendships with artists, and conversing with museum professionals and other collectors in their home and now, at the Lyman Allyn.

Memories & Inspiration brings together an awe-inspiring selection of works, but it is their personal resonance—their connection to the Davises’ hopes, passions, and everyday lives—that gives the collection its unique power.

About Dominion Energy
Through its Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, as well as EnergyShare and other programs, Dominion Energy contributes tens of millions of dollars annually to community causes throughout its footprint and beyond. The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation awards grants in four focus areas: Human needs, Environmental stewardship, Education, and Community vitality. The Social Justice Grants Initiative is intended to address the fundamental causes of systemic racism as it has taken root in American society, culture, education and economy.

About the Collection
Kerry Davis, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, is a former sergeant of the United States Air Force, a retired carrier with the United States Postal Service, and an ordained deacon. He began collecting in the mid1980s in partnership with his wife, Betty, who shared his passion for art. Begun originally with the modest aim of enhancing the interior decor of their mid-century split-level home in suburban Atlanta, the Davises’ collection has grown to over 300 works by some of the most distinguished African American artists of the twentieth century.

Inspired by previous generations of African American art collectors, who understood the importance of preserving cultural expression, memory, and imagery, Davis has sought to contribute to this legacy and be a source of inspiration for others in the community. The Davis residence—dubbed an “In-Home Museum” by visiting neighbors, parishioners, and friends—serves as a meeting place and cultural hub for artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts. Kerry and Betty have two children and one granddaughter.

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art was organized and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

International Arts & Artists in Washington, DC, is a nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally, through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, arts institutions and the public. Visit

About the Lyman Allyn Art Museum
The Lyman Allyn Art Museum welcomes visitors from New London, southeastern Connecticut and all over the world. Established in 1926 by a gift from Harriet Allyn in memory of her seafaring father, the Museum opened the doors of its beautiful neo-classical building surrounded by 12 acres of green space in 1932. Today it presents a number of changing exhibitions each year and houses a fascinating collection of over 17,000 objects from ancient times to the present; artworks from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, with particularly strong collections of American paintings, decorative arts and Victorian toys and doll houses.

The museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 – 5 p.m., and closed Mondays and major holidays. For more information call 860.443.2545, ext. 2129 or visit us at

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