Thirty-one years ago, Doris Ligon had a vision. She wanted to educate the community, young people in particular, about the historical and cultural significance of African art. “My husband and I felt as though we had the energy to make a difference through education in the way people perceive the continent of Africa,” Ligon, founder of the African Art Museum of Maryland, says.
Indeed, the museum, which has free admission, is an extensive educational resource with about 3,000 pieces of art. The objects, which come from all over Africa, include dolls, teapots, figurines, masks and much more. “African art tells a story,” says board of trustees member Lauren Andrews. “That story teaches you life lessons. It teaches principles to everyone from every walk of life.”
The African Art Museum of Maryland, which relocated from Columbia to Fulton in May 2011, is one of only three in the United States exclusively devoted to the arts of Africa, and it is the first one that was founded by a black woman.
Among the museum’s offerings are the hands-on African Experience Tour for schools, churches and other groups; the House of Jazz, which features jazz artists, food and drinks; and an annual trip to Africa.
African Art Museum of Maryland, 11711 E. Market Place, Fulton. Africanartmuseum.org or 301-490-6070.