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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 34 Records

Basket

2003-53-2

2003-53-2

Cross

87-13-48

87-13-48

Cross

87-13-106

87-13-106



Cup

AF428

AF428

Cross

87-13-107

87-13-107

Box

AF521A

AF521A



Box Lid

AF521B

AF521B

Sculpture

75-31-1

75-31-1



Sculpture

29-12-68

29-12-68

Sculpture

29-12-97

29-12-97

Mask

AF3685

AF3685



Cup

AF412

AF412

Plaque

AF2066

AF2066

This object is on display



Stool

AF5121

AF5121

Basket Lid

AF1835B

AF1835B

Knife

42-30-524

42-30-524



Textile

78-2-4

78-2-4

This object is on display

Basket

AF1835A

AF1835A

Pottery

AF5360

AF5360



Armlet

29-93-3

29-93-3

Figure

30-46-2

30-46-2

This object is on display



Tablet

29-201-704

29-201-704

This object is on display

Box

29-93-6A

29-93-6A

This object is on display



Box Lid

29-93-6B

29-93-6B

This object is on display

Chopper

AF1937

AF1937

Statue

AF5380

AF5380

This object is on display



1 - 30 of 34 Records
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