Arts and Culture

Yale has a long-established legacy as a leader in the study of Africa through the arts. The University has strong research resources in multiple media including the African art collection at the Yale University Art Gallery, spanning 3,000 years of African history, the extensive holdings of books, maps, photographs, archival materials and more at the Yale Library, and the more than 5,000 objects in the Egyptian Collection at the Peabody Museum of Natural History.

The Yale Africa Initiative also curates ​AFRICA SALON, Yale’s first contemporary African arts and culture festival, established in 2015. The lively two-day event features a series of panels, readings, screenings, and performances by some of the most consequential artists from the continent and diaspora.  The SALON empowers students, professionals, community members, and arts enthusiasts to engage with Africa’s creatives industries through intellectual and practical conversations about these fields.

The festival focuses on modern African arts and culture, allowing attendees to learn about new, important work while reflecting on Africa’s cultural and artistic history. AFRICA SALON  leverages the expertise of international artists as well as Yale faculty and alumni across various disciplines including dance, music, literature, and African Studies. 


The Yale University Art Gallery features a permanent African art gallery and a collection of nearly 2,000 masks, figures, utilitarian objects, jewelry, and ceramics representing 3,000 years of African history.

The Yale Peabody Museum collection of Egyptian antiques, containing more than 5,000 objects, is among the oldest and most extensive of university collections of Egyptian artifacts in the United States. 

The Yale University Library houses its African Collection across several libraries in the system. The Collection includes books, periodicals, newspapers, maps, photographs, manuscripts, and more, with nearly exhaustive materials related to southern African countries.