Beni Kosh

Beni Kosh was a Cleveland artist, relatively unknown in his lifetime. He is noted in the catalog YET STILL WE RISE, AFRICAN AMERICAN ART IN CLEVELAND 1920-1970 and included in shows at the Cleveland State University, the Butler Institute of American Art and the Riffe Gallery during 1996-97. Born as Charles Elmer Harris in Cleveland Ohio, he changed his name in the 1960’s to Beni E. Kosh, which translates to “Son of Ethiopia”. He rarely exhibited or sold his work and was affiliated with the African-American artists’ “Sho-nuff Art Group” and the Karamu House and studied under Cleveland School artist Paul Travis. His style is very diverse and he experimented with Cubism, portraiture and abstractions. He was only “rediscovered” literally days after his death when hundreds of his paintings were rescued catalogued and later sold.

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