Gallery Preview: Africa

Gallery Preview: Africa

Before your visit to VMFA, introduce your students to the galleries. Let them explore the space and imagine what they can find there!

Grade Level:
Adult, College, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12
African Art
Activity Type:
Distance Learning, Gallery Preview

Gallery Preview: Africa

Take a Look Inside

VMFA’s collection of African art is one of the most comprehensive in the United States and features figures, masks, textiles, regalia, and ritual objects from more than 100 cultures throughout the continent.

Click on the image for a virtual view of VMFA’s Arts of Africa Galleries. Here you can get an idea of the kinds of objects on display in the museum. When you come to the museum you will be visiting this gallery exploring just a few of these objects.

As you take a look around consider:

  • What kinds of objects do you see?
  • How are they displayed?
  • If you could visit in person, what might you be interested in looking at first?
  • Do any of these objects remind you of topics you are studying? How?

A Closer Look: Is This Stuff Real?

Yes! The objects displayed in these galleries are real examples of art made by people from all over the continent of Africa. By caring for and studying these objects in museums like VMFA, we are able to connect with the diverse peoples of Africa, consider how they understand the world around them, and explore how they visually share stories and ideas with one another.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a scholar or an art specialist to take a closer look and begin exploring. All you need is a little bit of time and some curiosity!

Why don’t you give it a try!

Look closely at this object for at least 30 seconds and answer these simple questions:

  • What do you see?
  • What do you think about that?
  • What does it make you wonder?

Share your ideas with others.

Click on the image to find out more about this object.

Take another look at it. What other aspects spark your curiosity? What other ideas do you have?