Collections

Saddle Bag, mid 20th century (detail)

Currently not on view.

Made almost exclusively for and about Africans, the objects in the PEM collection reflect the artists' powers of observation and abilities to render distinct human features. Works first acquired in the early 1800 by members of the East India Marine Society demonstrate the strengths of sub-Saharan and West African artists working with ivory, leather, wood, resin and other indigenous materials. Carvings and ceremonial masks with leopard fur and shells speak to African relationships with Europeans and other visitors interested in trade. Early and significant works from coastal East and West Africa, an important body of Zulu arts and storytelling devices illuminate cultural traditions. PEM also has one of the world's finest collections of Ethiopian Christian art - 16th- to 20th-century icons and metalwork with roots in the late Antique and Byzantine traditions. 

 

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Images

Figural Group, 19th century

Figural Group, 19th century

Congo or Willi artist
Congo River Delta region, west coast of Africa
Ivory
Accession Number: E16924

Staff of Cane, probably 19th century

Staff of Cane, probably 19th century

Zulu Artist
South Africa
Wood

Gift of Annie M. Lyman

Accession Number: E7035
Rifle, probably late 18th century

Rifle, probably late 18th century

Artist not identified
Algeria
Metal, tortoise shell, ivory, silver brass

Gift of Colonel Timothy Pickering

Accession Number: E7477
West African Outlok

West African Outlok

Charles Sekano
Africa
Pastel, canvas

Museum Purchase

Vertical Light

Vertical Light

Viye Diba
West Africa
Canvas, paint

Museum Purchase

Triptych, 17th century

Triptych, 17th century

Artist not identified
Ethiopia
Wood, polychrome pigments

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles R. Langmuir

Accession Number: E67887
Moroccan or Tunisian Robe

Moroccan or Tunisian Robe

Artist not identified
Morocco or Tunisia
Velvet, gold, thread, cotton

Collected by the Colonial Dames National Society of Massachesetts

Accession Number: E69839
Figural Drum, 19th century

Figural Drum, 19th century

Kongo or Villi artist
Congo River Delta region, west coast of Africa
Wood, paint, mirrors

Gift of Captain William T. Julio

Accession Number: E6754
Collar, 19th century

Collar, 19th century

Zulu Artist
South Africa
Glass beads

Gift of Charles Goddard Weld

Accession Number: E8607
Powder Horn, probably late 19th century

Powder Horn, probably late 19th century

Artist not identified
West coast of Africa
Leather, paint

Gift of Mary A. Barker and Harriet A. Barker

Powder Horn, 18th Century

Powder Horn, 18th Century

Artist not identified
Mogador, Morocco
Leather, metal, silver, ivory, cord

Gift of William Richardson

Throne Chair

Throne Chair

Artist not identified
Zanzibar
Ebony, ivory, cane
Thumb/Finger Piano

Thumb/Finger Piano

Artist not identified
South Africa
Wood, iron, brass

Donated by T.E. Paske and Hurst

Mask, 19th century

Mask, 19th century

Probably Grebo artist
Probably Cape Palmas area, Liberia
Wood, ceramic, iron, nails, pigment

Gift of George A. Perkins

Accession Number: E6764
Figural Axe, mid 19th century

Figural Axe, mid 19th century

Nyanja artist
Malawi
Wood, steel, beads

Gift of Edward Ropes

Accession Number: E6765
Icon, late 15th century-early 16th century

Icon, late 15th century-early 16th century

After the style of Gunda Gundie Monastery
Ethiopia
Painted parchment, embossed leather

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Langmuir

Accession Number: E67892
Ijaw Mask

Ijaw Mask

Artist not identified
Nigeria
Wood, feathers

Donated by Dr. C.G. Weld

Accession Number: E14379
Knife, probably late 19th century

Knife, probably late 19th century

Artist not identified
Upper Congo region, central Africa
Metal, copper, wood

Gift of William C. Endicott

Accession Number: E9135
Knife and Sheath, probably late 19th century

Knife and Sheath, probably late 19th century

Artist not identified
Liberia
Metal, leather, cotton cord

Museum Purchase

Accession Number: E5940
Jar, probably late 19th century

Jar, probably late 19th century

Tswana artist
South Africa
Earthenware, red pigment

Museum purchase

Accession Number: E62934
Mask from Zaire/Angola

Mask from Zaire/Angola

Artist not identified
Zaire/Angola
Seashells, wool, beads, animal skin, plant fiber
Accession Number: E14376
Zulu Pot

Zulu Pot

Artist not identified
Zulu, South Africa
Accession Number: E301844
Cross

Cross

Artist not identified
Ethiopia
Brass
H: 37.00 cm, W: 28.00 cm

Collected c. 1968

Accession Number: E67933
Wine Cup, 19th century

Wine Cup, 19th century

Kuba artist
Africa, Zaire, Kuba
Wood, shell

Gift of Mrs. Charles Loring

Drum, late 19th century

Drum, late 19th century

Ga artist
Africa, west, Ghana
Wood, skin, paint, sinew

Gift of T. C. W. Nash

Accession Number: E6756
Stool, early 19th century

Stool, early 19th century

Asante artist
Africa
Wood

Gift of Henry Wheatland

Accession Number: E8681
Beer pot

Beer pot

Africa
Accession Number: E14392
Bark Cloth

Bark Cloth

Ugandan artist
Africa, Uganda
Vegetable fiber and dye

Gift of the estate of Mary Brooks

Accession Number: E23804
Saddle Bag, mid 20th century

Saddle Bag, mid 20th century

Tuareg artist
Africa, Niger, Tuareg
Leather, paint, embroidery

Gift of D. Carleton Gajdusek

Accession Number: E63952
Processional Cross, 17th century

Processional Cross, 17th century

Artist not identified
Africa, Ethiopia
Wood
H: 33.90 cm, W: 15.50 cm

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles R. Langmuir

Accession Number: E67930