Clio Logo

Since its opening in 1974, The Neuberger Museum of Art has worked to make African art an integral part of its collections. Over the years many pieces of art have been added to the collection, but the biggest addition came from a generous donation from the late Lawrence Gussman in 1999. Today, the collection is primarily made up of the arts of central Africa, with over 153 pieces of work for visitors to view and learn about various African cultures.


  • Various Figures within African Collection
  • African Masks and Headdresses
  • African Sculptures from Collection
  • African Sculpture Surrounded by Various Flags

The Neuberger Museum of Art was founded in 1969 with a promised gift of 300 works by Roy R. Neuberger, one of the most significant private collectors, philanthropists, and arts advocates of the twentieth century. In 1974, the Neuberger Museum of Art opened in Purchase, NY in a building designed by Philip Johnson. Its mission statement defines the museum as "a center of teaching and learning for all stages of life.”1 Visitors to the site encounter a memorable experience of “modern, contemporary, and African art.”2 The Museum’s collection has grown to over 6,000 objects, with representations by many artists, including Milton Avery, Romare Bearden, Willem de Kooning, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Jackson Pollock.


The museum 's extensive collection of African art is continually rotated on exhibition. The African art collection is principally focused around central Africa and the cultures within it. “The display of ceremonial headdresses, musical instruments, commemorative carved figures, masks and other objects is intended to arouse the viewer’s admiration for the makers of these works, whose forms transcend history and embody layers of meaning that need to be discovered if we are to understand the richness of the cultures from which they came.”3


“Major objects offer artistic insights into more than 30 cultures and span a geographic area from Mali to Mozambique.”4 A large gift of 153 pieces by the late Lawrence Gussman, a Scarsdale resident and collector of African art, expanded the collection in 1999. 


While the museum is not listed on the National Register, it offers valuable historical insight into the cultures of central Africa. The museum is open to the public most weekdays, with tickets at affordable prices for all ages and groups. The museum is also available to students, making the collection a valuable history lesson for anyone who wishes to see the works and gain new insights.

  1. About the Neuberger Museum of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art. Accessed February 5th 2020. https://neuberger.org/#about.
  2. About the Neuberger Museum of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art. Accessed February 5th 2020. https://neuberger.org/#about.
  3. African Art and Culture: Selections from the Collection, Purchase College: State University of New York. October 9th 2019. Accessed February 5th 2020. https://www.purchase.edu/live/news/2937-african-art-and-culture-selections-from-the.
  4. Westchester County Guide To African American History and Heritage, Visit Westchester County NY. Accessed February 5th 2020. https://www.visitwestchesterny.com/things-to-do/history/african-american-history/.
Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/01/nyregion/westchester/01artswe.html

http://www.randafricanart.com/Senufo_firespitter_reference_examples.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/24/arts/design/art-in-cameroon-at-the-neuberger-museum-review.html

https://hudsonvalley.org/explore-area/listing/neuberger-museum-of-art-at-suny-purchase?tab=nearby&p=6&category=0&zoom=15&is_mile=1&directory_radius=100&view=list#sabai-inline-content-nearby