African Art (collection)
January 1 - December 31
Founding pieces in the collection were purchased from the California International Midwinter Exposition in 1894. From that moment, the de Young’s collections of African art, like those of most major American museums, grew in a random fashion rather than by design—enriched in part by purchases, but mostly by donations from entrepreneurs, travelers, educators, and even Peace Corps volunteers. Research about their histories is ongoing.
Since 1971, when the Department of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas was founded, the collection has been developed to present the richness and diversity of art from sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the collection dates from the 19th century through the mid-20th century, when tremendous political, economic, and religious change impacted art and culture in many societies through colonialism, imperialism, war, and globalism.