Africa offers extraordinary cultural richness and diversity manifested in its visual art. African art employs a variety of mediums, from textile to painting, masks, jewelry, figurines, and more. We profile the top five places to see African art right here in New York City.
The Brooklyn Museum invites visitors to celebrate African art through experimental installations that showcase the best of the continent’s visual culture and history. Stretching over 2,500 years with masterpieces from ancient Nubia to contemporary works from the 21st century, the Brooklyn Museum exhibits African pieces symbolizing protection, transition, authority, masquerade and beauty. A dynamic and diverse range of African artworks in wood sculpture, metal casting, terracotta, textiles, and beadwork demonstrate African art’s long history of adaptation to and exchange with various cultures.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art presents one of the most comprehensive collections of African art in the United States. The collection ranges from ancient artifacts to contemporary pieces, profiling a historical breadth of works produced out of numerous kingdoms, eras, cultures and empires. The museum exhibits a detailed variety of African art, profiling various forms of rock art, architecture, basketry and portraits of African leaders to name a small few.
Hemingway African Art Gallery
The Hemingway African Gallery is an established wholesale importer of fine African art. Its unparalleled collection features Shona tribal sculpture, woven textiles, intricately carved ceremonial masks, zebra skins, antique silver and bronze jewelry, Maasai beadwork, Zulu baskets, and artisan weaponry. If you are looking to buy African Art, this gallery offers a large collection of handmade uniquely crafted art pieces.
Amyas Naegele Gallery
Amyas Naegele Fine Art is a private gallery in New York City, founded after Mr. Naegele returned from two years traveling and working in Africa. At the time, traditional objects, figurines and masks were being exported from Africa in significant quantities; most of this material required bases to make them presentable, so dealers of every stripe sought out his services. Mr. Naegele, with a background in fine arts, was soon acting as a conduit between traders, higher end dealers and collectors. Keenly aware of the depth and breadth of African craft, he began buying not only sculpture as defined in the western sense, but fine basketry, ceramics and metal work as well. The gallery is a treasure trove of ethnographic and fine art from across the continent – all of it authentic and presented by an informative and knowledgeable guide.
Ethnix is an African art and tribal artifacts gallery full of treasures from all around the world. Established circa 1990, Ethnix evolved from the philosophy that awareness of a specific ethnic group through their material and spiritual culture leads to greater appreciation and public concern for their well-being. David Stiffler, owner and founder of Ethnix Tribal Arts Gallery, is an artist and an anthropologist. He has spent many years among many indigenous peoples documenting their cultures, their traditional music and the gallery strives to maintain a focus on the relationship between native religion and art. The role of the ethnographic artifact created in the context of the ritual and viewed as art, reinforces the ethnic identity of a people and helps them to sustain the traditional culture which normally incorporates renewable and sustainable resources.
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