Editors' pick

National Museum of African Art - Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian
National Museum of African Art - Smithsonian Institution photo
(Crest mask, Ejagham peoples/National Museum of African Art)
Through 7/20

Lines, Marks and Drawings: Through the Lens of Roger Ballen

The exhibit features 55 pieces and a video to trace how the artist has incorporated drawing into his photography.
Through 8/17

Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone

A collection of artwork from Liberia and Sierra Leone includes masks, body ornaments, textiles and more. Approximately 70 pieces will be on display.
Through 8/24

Africa Re-Viewed: The Photographic Legacy of Eliot Elisofon

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives, an exhibition focused on the photographer's work capturing images of African culture.
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Editorial Review

The Buzz: Conserving centuries of art from a massive, diverse continent is no easy task, but this Smithsonian museum does an excellent job of representing the breadth of African cultures.

The Collections: The collection includes both ceremonial and utilitarian objects from cultures across the continent. Ceramics, tiles, furniture and tools can be found along with masks, paintings and sculpture.

In 2005, the museum accepted the donation of the Walt Disney-Tishman Collection of African Art, a highly regarded group of more than 500 objects.

Programs: The museum offers frequent weekday tours of its exhibitions. Film screenings and dance performances also make appearances on the museum's calendar -- particularly during the summer months. On some Saturday mornings, the museum hosts "Let's Read About Africa," a kid-friendly storytelling session.

Extras: The museum has a gift shop with inexpensive books, purses, jewelry, videos and CDs. It also has expensive sculptures, ceramics and musical instruments, so keep an eye on kids.

(Updated July 10, 2007)