Reinstallation of African Art Galleries Now Complete at Yale University Art Galleries
Yale University Art Gallery announced the completion of a yearlong reinstallation of a portion of the African art galleries. Breaking from a thematic arrangement of objects, the new displays now focus in on distinct African cultural zones, highlighting masterpieces from the collection by some of the continent’s most celebrated artists, alongside new acquisitions and rarely shown works of art in a variety of different media.
The African art collection comprises nearly 2,000 objects, representing 3,000 years of African history, with masks, figures, utilitarian objects, jewelry, ceramics, and textiles from throughout the continent. Highlights include ritual figures and masks from West and Central Africa, and terracotta antiquities from the Sahel area.
The Yale University Art Gallery’s collection of art from Africa south of the Sahara began with gifts of several textiles in 1937 and now consists of some 2,000 objects in wood, metal, ivory, ceramic, and other materials. Major milestones in forming the collection occurred in 1954 with the acquisition of the Linton Collection of African Art, purchased for the Gallery by Mr. and Mrs. James M. Osborn, and in 2004 with the gift of the collection of nearly 600 African objects from Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933. Concurrent with the 2004 gift, Benenson endowed a new curatorial position, the Frances and Benjamin Benenson Foundation Curator of African Art, and the Gallery’s Department of African Art was born. In 2010 the museum received a collection of approximately two hundred African antiquities from SusAnna and Joel B. Grae.
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