African Worlds

The exhibition brings together a rich mixture of sculpture and decorative arts. It is a co-curated exhibition which includes many voices; elders, maskers, drummers, diviners, artists and exiles as well as curators and anthropologists.

The exhibition displays objects from across the continent of Africa. It also exhibits artefacts from other countries including Brazil and Trinidad whose cultures were strongly influenced by Africa.

Highlights of the exhibition include masterpieces of bronze art from Benin which depict the arrival of the first Europeans to Africa, and the spectacular Igbo Ijele , Africa's largest mask, and the only one of its kind on display in Britain.

The Ijele sits alongside other impressive Dogon and Bwa masks from Mali and Burkina Faso which themselves tower up to five metres high.

The gallery also features three religious altars from Benin, Haiti and Brazil which reveal an insight into non Western religious beliefs and draw parallels between African societies.

One of the most popular displays is dedicated to Kemet (Ancient Egypt) and showcases Egyptian mummies and other artefacts collected by Frederick Horniman.

Exhibitions and events

Music Gallery

Permanent exhibition

Over 1300 instruments from the Horniman's internationally renowned collection can be seen in the Music Gallery. Its breathtaking display spans a wide range of instruments from around the world,...

World Gallery

Permanent exhibition

Come and encounter cultures from across the continents in the World Gallery. Over 3,000 objects from around the world give you a glimpse into other ways of life and a greater understanding of other...

Natural History

Permanent exhibition

Our Natural History Gallery first opened in 1901, the design influenced by the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements of the time. Many of the original showcases remain, packed full of ...

Activities from this museum

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