The Art of Africa

Discover the diverse arts of Africa from select cultures and time periods on the world’s second largest continent.


Aksumite coins
The ruins of the ancient city of Aksum are found close to Ethiopia's northern border.

City of Aksum


Loropeni grid
with its imposing stone walls, Loropéni is the best preserved of ten fortresses in the Lobi area and is part of a larger group of 100 stone enclosures that bear testimony to the power of the trans-Saharan gold trade

Ruins of Loropéni


abomey
From 1625 to 1900, 12 kings succeeded one another at the head of the powerful Kingdom of Abomey (in Benin)—and they built palaces.

Royal palaces of Abomey














silk coptic grid
By the seventh and eighth centuries in Egypt, patterns on the highest-quality silk panels had become extremely sophisticated and complex

Coptic silk panel








kilwa sherd grid
These pieces of broken pots were picked up on a beach in Tanzania, East Africa, and they come from pots that were actually made as far away as China or the Middle East.

Kilwa pot sherds