Google Arts and Culture is an online platform that allows you explore HD artworks, learn about historic events and tour famous landmarks. There are tons of museums to choose from from around the world that offer online exhibits and high quality photographs of art pieces. Out of the hundreds of offerings, we have chosen some of the most interesting African and diaspora collections. We hope you enjoy!

The Afro Brasil Museum

Bakary Yerima Bouba Alioum, Lamido of Maroua
Alfred Weidinger 2012

The Afro Brasil Musuem in Sao Paulo contains over 6,000 works that highlight the importance of African people in the formation of Brazilian culture, heritage and identity as known nowadays. It celebrates the art and accomplishments of the Africans and Afro-Brazilians.

The Museum of African American Art

Art from the private collection at the Museum of African American Art. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

(MAAA) is a nonprofit cultural and educational institution dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of art by or about people of African descent and their contributions to world culture. The museum was founded in 1976 by noted artist and art historian Dr. Samella Lewis and a group of academic, artistic, business, and community leaders whose goal was to increase public awareness of African American art. The MAAA seeks to present engaging exhibits and programs in which artists and their art inspire new thinking about issues that reflect, illuminate, or intersect with the shared experiences of people throughout the African diaspora and beyond.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum

Mickalene Thomas, Portrait of Mnonja, 2010

the nation’s first collection of American art, is an unparalleled record of the American experience. The collection captures the aspirations, character and imagination of the American people throughout three centuries. The museum is the home to one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world. They have an online exhibit titled “African American Art” that covers the Harlem Renaissance, the civil rights era and more.

African Ceremonies

Unmarried Surma Girl, Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher, 1986, From the collection of: African Ceremonies

African Ceremonies is the name of a book and of the charitable foundation that published it. Their mission is “recording the past, supporting the future”. The book is a pan-African study of rituals and rites of passage from birth to death covering ninety-three ceremonies from twenty six countries. It won the United Nations Award for Excellence for its “vision and understanding of the role of cultural traditions in the pursuit of world peace.” The authors have  twice honoured with the Annisfield-Wolf Book Award in race relations for “outstanding contributions to the understanding of cultural diversity and prejudice,” and the Lifetime Achievement Award from WINGS World Quest, honouring the accomplishments of visionary women.

The Centenary Project

Our children see sunshine behind cloud, Gani Odutokun 1990

The Centenary Project is an initiative of the Pan-Atlantic University (PAU). Since its inception in 2014 (the year which marked 100 years of Nigeria’s existence as a geographic entity), its aim has been to digitally capture and showcase the cultural and historical expressions of the Nigerian nation as a way to inform and educate the world about the treasure of creative and human resources that lie within the country. The goal is to build a better society in Nigeria and Africa at large.

The Kenya National Archives

Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya – Musical Instrument, The Amadinda (UG) 1960/1980

The Kenya National Archives was established in 1965 and it holds 40,000 volumes of public records and archives. Its mission is to offer consultative records management services to the public service; acquire and preserve valuable public as well as private records as part of the national documentary heritage; and ensure timely accessibility of records and archives to users. Their museum page feautres over 1000 items including 8 online exhibits.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation

ANC supporters clamber up a large billboard as they await the arrival of Nelson Mandela
Gideon Mendel1994

The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) is a non-profit organisation focused on memory, dialogue and legacy work, founded by Nelson Mandela in 1999. They are “the custodian of his life and times; and are a committed facilitator of his living legacy.” They are mandated to promote his lifelong vision of freedom and equality for all. Their museum page offers 19 online exhibits and 486 documents,

The National Museums of Kenya

Njemps Girl – Joy Adamson

The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) is a multi-disciplinary institution whose role is to collect, preserve, study, document and present Kenya’s past and present cultural and natural heritage. This is for the purposes of enhancing knowledge, appreciation, respect and sustainable utilization of these resources for the benefit of Kenya and the world.NMK’s mutual concern for the welfare of mankind and the conservation of the biological diversity of the East African region and that of the entire planet demands success in such efforts. Their digital museum boasts over 100 online exhibits that detail the many ethnic tribes of the country.

DuSable Museum of African American History

Trusty On A Mule
Hale Woodruff1935

The DuSable Museum of African American History was founded in 1961 and is one of the few independent institutions of its kind in the United States. The DuSable’s mission is to to promote understanding and inspire appreciation of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans through exhibits, programs, and activities that illustrate African and African American history, culture and art. The DuSable’s diverse collections include both fine art and historical materials, with substantial holdings in African art and artifacts, archival documents, and works created by some of the most influential African American artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Kate Butchard
Author: Kate Butchard