African Art

A generous bequest of African objects from Henry Easterwood has made possible a reinstallation of the African Galleries. Curated by African specialist Dr. Earnestine Jenkins, professor of art history at The University of Memphis, the installation explores artworks from the Sudan, Central Africa, and the West Atlantic Forests and Guinea Coast of West Africa, which are complemented with text that highlights shared creative traditions. The objects in The Arts of Africa are vibrant and dynamic, many having been produced for use in masquerades and festivals that feature music, dance, song, costume, poetry, and body decoration.


Bamileke, Cameroon
Elephant Society Mask, late-19th century
Raffia, canvas embroidered with beads
62 3/4" x 18 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Gift of the Director's Council 97.2.1

Dogon, Mali
Kanaga Mask, late-19th century-early-20th century
Wood, rawhide strips and pigment
43 3/8" x 23 3/4" x 7 1/4"
Gift of Henry L. Easterwood and William Roberson, Jr., in memory of Ben K. Baer 99.6

Songye, Kifwebe, Zaire
Male Kifwebe Mask, early-20th century
Wood, pigment, plant fibers and feathers
33" x 16 1/2" x 9"
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art purchase 95.4.2

Ashanti, Ghana
Throne Chair, early-20th century
Brass, wood, leather
30 ½" x 17 ¼" x 17 ½"
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art purchase 96.3

Bobo, Burkina Faso
Do Hawk Mask, late-19th century–early-20th century
Wood, pigment
25 ½" x 95" x 12 ½"
Bequest of Henry Easterwood RS2003.1.74

Senufo, Ivory Coast
Rhythmn Pounders, late-19th century–early-20th century
61" x 6 ½" x 7 ¼" 55" x 8" x 8"
Bequest of Henry Easterwood RS2003.1.76-77