Art of Africa: One Continent, Limitless Vision


Art of Africa is as diverse as the continent itself. With 1.2 billion people, 11.7 million square miles, and more than 50 countries, there is no standard African art. It includes traditional masks and wood carvings commonly associated with the continent, as well as Muslim art of North Africa and Christian art of East Africa. The diverse cultures across the continent have shaped an equally diverse spirit of artistic expression that continues to inspire artists.

African art encompasses many different forms and styles. Sculpture, paintings, textiles, pottery, and jewelry are made from wood, metal, paint, glass, ceramic, leather, cotton, and other plant fibers.

While in office, President Bill Clinton worked to expand democracy and economic opportunity in Africa. In an effort to achieve these goals, he made two multi-country trips to Africa. During these visits, he received many gifts demonstrating the range of artistic expression throughout the continent.

This exhibit explores the colors, shapes, and textures of Africa through the Clinton Presidential Library’s collection of African art and pieces from President Clinton’s personal collection.