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The Savannah African Art Museum’s mission as a non-profit institution is to focus on the introduction and education on the art and culture of West and Central Africa. Our aim is to provide an engaging experience and to start conversations about the power, diversity, and spirituality of African Art to all audiences.
The Savannah African Art Museum holds a collection of over 1000 objects that hail from West and Central Africa. Prior to the Museum’s founding in late 2016 this collection formed over the last 30 years by Mr. Don Kole, a Savannah businessman, private collector, and founder of the Savannah African Art Museum. Mr. Kole’s collection of African art showcases a range of ceremonial and spiritual objects from the 19th and 20th centuries made from ceramics, metal, and wood. These powerful objects hold origins throughout West and Central Africa, representing 22 countries and over 130 individual cultures and ethnic groups. The diverse range of objects represented bisects the entire continent of Africa spanning as far west as Guinea and as far east as Tanzania. The Savannah African Art Museum and Mr. Kole are still actively collecting works from West and Central Africa that serve the museum’s mission of education while continuing to fill in gaps within the collection itself. While no works are purchased physically in West and Central Africa by Mr. Kole, the Savannah African Art Museum works with two West African born United States citizens who negotiate with individual communities and cultural ethnic groups in Africa to obtain objects on a commissioned rate. This allows for the money used in purchasing of objects to return to the community to which they are native.