The Gallery of African Art is located in a surprising location - a room off from a gift boutique in Clinton, Massachusetts. In the gallery is a collection of over 200 pieces of African art most of which are from western Africa. There are items from Burkina Faso, Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia spanning tribes such as Yoruba, Baule, Dogon, Bamana, Nupe, Yaure, Dan, Sukuma, Yamba, Senufo, Ashanti, Mau, Kongo, Punu, Kamba, Pokot, Luba, and Fang,
This collection is continuously being added to. In fact, the morning I visited fifteen new pieces had just arrived and the owner of the collection, Gordon B. Lankton, was working on getting them all cataloged. These were in a different location so I didn't get to see them. There are plans to possibly expand the museum into the retail space next door as the collection grows.
A couple of things I really liked about this gallery was everything on display was not behind glass. I was able to take as many pictures as I wanted to and not worry about flash glare from protective glass. The other nice thing is on one wall is a map of Africa where the tribes and regions where items were acquired are denoted.
The Gallery of African Art includes fetishes, vases and vessels, chairs and stools, carved doors, icons and statues, and lots of masks. I counted at least 37 masks from various tribes in this collection. The pieces of art ranged from old to very old and represented things used in every day life or traditions in Africa. Everything shows wear from use, so don't expect these items to be in pristine condition. These are not pieces created for the tourist trade, but authentic works of African art.
This is a "must see" collection of African art. The Gallery of African Art rivals, if not exceeds the quality and quantity, of the collection at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts which I've found to be somewhat disappointing.
To get to the Gallery of African Art you need to walk through the Sunrise Boutique. This boutique offers items from all over the world including fair trade handmade items from the Kazuri women's group located on the Karen von Blixen plantation in Kenya.
|Gallery Hours:||Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday - 10am to 5:30pm|
Thursday - 10am to 8pm
Saturday - 9am to 5:30pm
|Address:||62 High Street, Clinton MA 01510 - Accessible through the Sunrise Boutique|
|Admission:||Free until August 31, 2011 |
Adults - $5
Tours & Groups - $4 per person
Seniors - Voluntary Donation
Students & Children Under 16 - Free