Five Year Plan: Collections

The Museum’s collections span hundreds of years and encompass thousands of objects, works of art in all media, and ephemera. From African ritual objects to works by noted American contemporary visionaries, these collections showcase the unbroken continuum of creativity and culture in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora, and provide a vital source of pride for the Black communities of Chicago and the broader United States. Interpretation and conservation of these collections are critical to the Museum’s plans for growth. To that end, over the next five years, the Museum will:

  • Staff up its collections department so that it can professionally care for, exhibit, loan, and conserve its collections
  • Complete a comprehensive collections study that will allow it to plan for future collections expansion where necessary
  • Ensure that its collections management policies are in line with those promulgated by the American Alliance of Museums
  • Expand on-site digitization, conservation areas and collections storage
  • Engage programming partners in the re-interpretation of the Museum’s collections, paying special attention to its rich and extensive African art and artifact holdings




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