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Pan-African Art and Artifact Collection

The Pan-African Art and Artifact Collection contains objects anonymously donated to the Avery Research Center that portray art and life among peoples of African descent across the world.

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Paul Craven, Jr. Collection

The Paul Craven, Jr. Collection is comprised of artifacts of Togo origin. The artifacts include wooden figurines, instruments, spears, household items, and woven straw fans adorned with the flag of Togo.

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Walter Pantovic Artifact Collection

Historically known as “The Walter Pantovic Slavery Collection,” these artifacts span the African American experience from slavery to the Civil Rights era to the rise of African Americans in popular culture. Walter Pantovic was born in Yugoslavia in 1965 and immigrated to the United States at the age of two. He became interested in African-American […]

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Muriel and Marcus Zbar Collection

The Muriel and Marcus Zbar Collection was donated by Dr. Marcus J. Zbar, a 1951 graduate of Vanderbilt University. The collection consists of artifacts originating in West and Central Africa and Papua New Guinea that Dr. Zbar privately purchased from various galleries across the United States.

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Hunley Artifact Collection: Submarine Components & Tools

The submarine H.L. Hunley represents one of the most complex composite structures ever recovered by an archaeological team. The exterior hull is comprised of wrought-iron plates of various sizes, several cast-iron fittings and glass view-ports. While the Hunley was lost at sea, it was going through a series of physical and chemical changes. Salts from […]

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Katherine Nicklaus Collection

The Katherine Nicklaus Collection contains two female carved wooden masks whose origin was the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire).

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H.A. DeCosta, Jr. Papers

The Herbert A. DeCosta, Jr. Papers include materials related to the professional and personal life of Herbert DeCosta, Jr., his wife Emily, and numerous Craft, Crum, and DeCosta family members. Namely, the walking cane of Dr. William Crum.

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Keith and Charlotte Otterbein Collection

The Keith and Charlotte Otterbein collection contains straw objects obtained while doing ethnographic work in Nassau, Bahamas between 1959 and 1987. Many of the items in this collection were made by individual Bahamian craftswomen (also called “plaiters”) who maintained their independence in the straw industry, while four were sold in the Nassau straw market, thus […]

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Lowcountry Fish and Shrimp Nets

Cast net fishing is a significant part of history in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Africans transported to the Lowcountry, later known as the Gullah people, brought with them skills in boating and fishing. Seafood was plentiful on the South Carolina coast and barrier islands (sea islands) and made up a large part of the diet, […]

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Glendia Cooper Collection

Glendia Cooper, African American potter, grew up in Mississsippi and has exhibited her work in various cities across the United States.  Her pieces, inspired by travel in Africa and South America, are created using the coil and slab methods, then shaping, molding, decorating and glazing by hand.