Early Influence of African Art on Western Art
Prior to the 20th century, anthropologists and others who were interested in African cultures viewed the objects these cultures produced as interesting cultural artifacts, but they did not consider them as art. The earliest documented entry of a piece of African art into a European collection occurred around 1470, with a work that a Portuguese collector acquired from the kingdom of Kongo. By the late 19th century, many more Europeans were collecting objects from sub-Saharan Africa. They housed them in ethnographic museums, alongside examples of flora and fauna, as artifacts of exotic cultures.