US museum receives $1.5M to endow new African art curator

Vili nkisi nkondi figure. Height: 103,5 cm. Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern. Image courtesy of Michigan Museum of Art (2005/1.192).

Vili nkisi nkondi figure. Height: 103,5 cm. Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern. Image courtesy of Michigan Museum of Art (2005/1.192).

A $1.5 million gift is being used to establish and endow a new curatorial position in African art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. The museum announced that the gift is from longtime supporters Helmut and Candis Stern. The Helmut and Candis Stern Curator of African Art will be an addition to the museum’s curatorial posts in Western, Asian, and contemporary art. Helmut Stern began collecting modern European and American art in the 1950s, and his focus shifted to African art in the 1980s. In 2005, Candis and Helmut donated 90 works of Congolese art to the Museum; many of them are now among the most popular works within UMMA’s broad collections. You can read more about the Stern gift here.