Museums Research

Museum databases online

As you can see above, I’ve created a new page on this website called ‘Museum Databases’. It includes a list of links to the online collection databases of museums that have African art. Since a couple of years more and more museums are making their collections accessible online, so I thought it would be convenient to have them all grouped on a single webpage as a starting point for some serious sleuthing.

This list is not (yet) exhaustive and a work in progress, so please do get in touch if you spot a museum I missed. What about the Italian museums for example ? There should be more in Germany as well – but not everybody has caught up with the digitalization trend of course. Also, the Tervuren Museum is still adding objects (but they do have 180,000 objects to process of course) and the British Museum still has a lot of objects without a picture, but most of these databases are pretty complete. I can only hope this list gets bigger through time. I often dream of one centralized database, but that’s for the distant future.

Anyway, happy browsing and all the best wishes for 2016 !


The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York)
Museum of Fine Arts (Boston)
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven)
Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania)
Brooklyn Museum
American Museum of Natural History (New York)
Birmingham Museum of Art
Dallas Museum of Art
Fowler Museum (Los Angeles)
Saint Louis Art Museum
National Museum of African Art (Washington)
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Amherst College
Princeton University Art Museum
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Art Institute of Chicago
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Minneapolis Institute of Art
The Barnes Foundation (Philadelphia)
University of Michigan Museum of Art


British Museum (London)
Pitt Rivers Museum (Oxford)
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (Norwich)
Horniman Museum (London)


Royal Museum for Central Africa (Tervuren)
Museum aan de Stroom (Antwerp, former Ethnographic Museum)


Musée du quai Branly (Paris, in French)
Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris

The Netherlands

Wereldmuseum (Rotterdam, in dutch)
Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen (Leiden)


Ethnologisches Museum (Berlin)


Museu de Cultures del Mon de Barcelona (in Spanish)


Musée d’ethnographie de Genève
Rietberg Museum (Zürich)
Musée Barbier-Mueller (Genève)

Other Countries

Museum for World Cultures (Gothenburg)