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About the African Art Collection

For more than a century, the museum continued to expand its African collection, acquiring works of the highest aesthetic merit with a concentration of objects from central and western Africa. In 1889 the Cincinnati Art Museum exhibited Carl Steckelmann’s extensive collection of African art—one of the first museums to display such work. Steckelmann was a German American trader from Indiana who had worked along the coast of equatorial and central Africa at the end of the nineteenth century. The Steckelmann collection of nearly 1,300 objects was acquired by the museum in 1890 and it forms the core of the museum’s holdings.

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Featured Objects

A wooden sculpture of a human figure with red and yellow bands Doll

Unidentified Namji Artist, 1987.76

wooden statue of an antelope Chi wara/soguni kun (Antelope Headcrest)

Unidentified Bamana (Mali), 1988.151

wooden statue of a tall and thin human figure Janari (Figure)

Unidentified Mumuye Artist, 1989.108

African, wooden mask Helmet Mask

Unidentified Bauman Artist, 1991.133

wooden headdress D’mba (Head and Shoulder Mask)

Unidentified Baga Artist, 1998.43

wooden statue with two seated figures Palace Veranda Post

Agunna, 2003.271