News

Brooklyn Native Eric Edwards Is Looking For A Permanent Home For His Remarkable African Art Collection

Brooklyn native Eric Edwards launches campaign to build a permanent home for his remarkable 44-year-old collection of African art.


Screenshot from Mark Zemel's documentary short, 'The Collector'

Brooklyn native Eric Edwards has a unique vision for the future of African art in New York City. His African art collection, which began with a statue of a Bambara maternity figure from Mali, has grown to 1,600 pieces.

The avid collector is now looking to share the power of African art with the public by establishing The Cultural Museum of African Art. The foundation of the museum will be his 44-year-old collection. Visitors will be able to learn about the significance of each individual art piece in the cultural context from which they have been extracted.

When Edwards was growing up, his father made it a point to teach him African history in order to instill in him a sense of confidence, self-respect, and dignity. In Mark Zemel's documentary short, The Collector, Mr. Edwards reflects, “My father knew we would experience racism and he wanted to basically inoculate us from feeling less important or inferior to anyone else and his way of doing that was to teach us African history, which later in life led me to collecting African art.”

Edwards would like to uphold this legacy of education as a way to empower African Americans by creating a museum and educational space. The museum will run exhibitions, offer a library containing his personal African art books, host lectures and student programs, as well as provide rent studio space to local artists. Additionally, Edwards would like the museum to offer free DNA testing for visitors that would like to trace their genealogy.

Edwards, who recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to help him raise funds to create an educational space and secure a safe, respectful home for his collection, remarks “My life’s mission has shifted from building this collection to ensuring that it can find a home where it can preserved and cared for and to educate everyone.”

H/T Gothamist

Audio
Image via Sheila Afari PR.

9 Black Electronic Musicians You Should Be Listening To

Featuring DJ Lag, Spellling, Nozinja, Klein, LSDXOXO and more.

We know that Black queer DJs from the Midwest are behind the creation of house and dance music. Yet, a look at the current electronic scene will find it terribly whitewashed and gentrified, with the current prominent acts spinning tracks sung by unnamed soulful singers from time to time. Like many art forms created by Black people all over the world, the industry hasn't paid homage to its pioneers, despite the obvious influence they have. Thankfully, the independent music scene is thriving with many Black acts inspired by their forefathers and mothers who are here to revolutionize electronic music. Here are a list of the ones you should check out:

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Kwesta Slams BMW South Africa’s Latest Advert For Using His Song Without Permission

Kwesta has called out BMW South Africa for blatantly using his song without his permission.