New Land, One People

From Africa To Weeksville

 
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“From Africa To Weeksville: The Eric Edwards Collection” is made possible in part by the support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and its Cultural Immigrant Initiative.

 
 

Community Opening

June 12th | 6pm - 9pm

Weeksville Heritage Center is pleased to present “From Africa To Weeksville: The Eric Edwards Collection,” an exhibition of rare artifacts on loan from The Cultural Museum of African Art, The Eric Edwards Collection, one of the largest collections of African art in the United States amassed by an African American.

Running from July 12 through September 28, the exhibition highlights the history and background on artifacts from 17 countries on the African continent and, through its narrative and programmatic extensions, draws explicit connections between the cultural practices of those countries and the people, both free and formerly enslaved, who built the community of historic Weeksville.  “From Africa To Weeksville: The Eric Edwards Collection” is made possible in part by the support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and its Cultural Immigrant Initiative.

The Eric Edwards Collection

The Eric Edwards Collection is the result of over 48 years of Edwards’ work as a private collector. He has amassed one of the most important private collections of African art in the world. Over 2,500 artifacts reside alongside Mr. Edwards in his Brooklyn home, which has become a museum. The collection represents all 54 countries of Africa and spans over 4000 years of history.  In the 1970s Eric Edwards, a Brooklyn native, acquired his first piece of African art-- a statue of a Bambara maternity female from Mali for $300.  With this purchase his love for African Art was born, and soon escalated into an obsession for acquiring one-of-a-kind African artifacts.  "I went to auctions, galleries, private acquisition sales, as well as travelling extensively around the world. I started purchasing pieces when they were truly affordable and started building my collection,” he said in an interview.  Edwards credits his father James, who came to America from Barbados at 17, with teaching him about Africa’s contributions to mankind. Those lessons empowered him with a self-respect and dignity that gave him a sense of real equalit