Ashanti gold beads. Elaborate Kuba textiles. Intricately carved ivories of the Benin kingdom. Dramatic Sherbro masks from Sierra Leone. The Penn Museum’s African collection is among the largest in the United States. The new Africa Galleries will feature this spectacular collection in spaces renovated and redesigned for all audiences to enjoy. New interpretive displays will engage all visitors, from children to adults, novices to experts. Objects will trace stories across centuries of Africa’s great kingdoms and rich, diverse cultures. The galleries will challenge the antiquated view of the “dark continent” by presenting Africa’s continental and international connections, creating new narratives by highlighting Africa’s own culture and its place in the world.
Development of the Africa Galleries is led by Director of Exhibitions & Public Programs Kate Quinn and Tukufu Zuberi, Lasry Family Professor of Race Relations and Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies, who builds on his curatorial work on the 2013 exhibitions Black Bodies in Propaganda and Tides of Freedom, as well as his renowned work as host of the PBS series The History Detectives.
Penn Museum Object Number: AF2066
Penn Museum Object Number: AF5082
Penn Museum Object Number: AF5361