African, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Songye
Female Mask, (Kifwebe), 20th century
African, Republic of Benin
Transitional Figure of a Bicycle Rider

  WCMA has been committed to the presentation of African art since the 1980s, due in part to the growing ethnic diversity of the college’s student body and the increasing diversity of Williams’s curriculum. New faculty members with expertise in various aspects of African cultures have also prompted the museum to present interdisciplinary and related programming of the highest quality.

Of the total number of objects in WCMA’s African collection, 20 percent represent East African cultures; the balance is from West Africa. The works include ceremonial vessels and furniture, articles of personal adornment, ritual and helmet masks, fetish figures, dolls, marionettes, agricultural implements, textiles from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and utilitarian objects. The geographic areas represented are encompassed by the current-day nations of Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Zaire, Nigeria, Cameroon, Liberia, Gabon, Benin, and Kenya.