University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

The African collection at the Penn Museum is one of the largest in the country. It includes approximately 15,000 ethnographic and 5,000 archaeological objects, mostly obtained between 1891 and 1937. A large part of the collection was purchased in 1912 from art dealers in London and Hamburg; many of these objects were collected in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) by the famous German ethnographer Leo Frobenius. A fair amount also came from missionaries working in Africa during the first three decades of the 20th century.

This collection of sculpture, masks, textiles, utilitarian objects, armaments, and ceramics dating from the 17th century to the 20th century are recognized as superb examples of the canons of African Art. The exceptional holdings are from all regions of Africa, with a concentration of artifacts from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Angola, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, and Madagascar.

Although many of the artifacts can be appreciated from a purely artistic or aesthetic standpoint, the Museum's main interest in them is as an ethnographic study collection. The collection therefore contains everything from masks and statuary pieces to clothing and musical instruments.


1 - 30 of 35 Records

Basket

AF1835A

AF1835A

This object is on display

Basket Lid

AF1835B

AF1835B

This object is on display

Pile Cloth

AF1437

AF1437



Knife

42-30-524

42-30-524

Box

AF521A

AF521A

Box Lid

AF521B

AF521B



Cup

AF412

AF412

Cup

AF428

AF428

Cup

AF5116

AF5116



Chopper

AF1937

AF1937

Armlet

29-93-3

29-93-3

Box

29-93-6A

29-93-6A



Cup

AF466

AF466

This object is on display

Game Board

20291

20291

This object is on display

Cross

87-13-48

87-13-48

This object is on display


Tablet

29-201-704

29-201-704

Statue

AF5380

AF5380

Cross

87-13-106

87-13-106

This object is on display


Cross

87-13-107

87-13-107

This object is on display

Sculpture

29-12-97

29-12-97

This object is on display

Reliquary Guardian Figure

29-12-236

29-12-236



Drum

29-93-39

29-93-39

Figure

30-46-2

30-46-2

Mask

AF3685

AF3685



Mask

29-61-21

29-61-21

Sculpture

75-31-1

75-31-1

Textile

78-2-4

78-2-4



Basket

2003-53-2

2003-53-2

Stool

AF5121

AF5121

Box Lid

29-93-6B

29-93-6B



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