Africa: New Director of Smithsonian’s African Art Museum Pledges to Work with African Countries


Collaborating with African countries is a cornerstone of Augustus (Gus) Casely-Hayford’s vision for the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art.

Casely-Hayford is the new director of the nation’s premiere museum devoted to the arts of Africa, which many experts consider the single most important collection of African art in the world.

“Our priority first and foremost is to preserve African art,” says Casely-Hayford, “our loyalty, even beyond our collection, is to African culture and heritage.”

By way of example, Casely-Hayford likes to recount the story of the role that the museum’s founder, Warren Robbins, played in the return of a stolen iconic art object to the Kom people of Cameroon. “We genuinely care about people,” says Casely-Hayford,…

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