A great new Afro-American Art museum has opened in Caracas. On a visit on June 14th, I saw a stunning display of statues, paintings, musical instruments, sculptures, ranging from items several thousand years old to current artworks. The museum features pieces from the collection of Nelson Sánchez Chapellín, and his foundation, built over more than a 30-year period of collecting in Africa. It is one of the most extensive private collections in the world.
We (myself, my wife and her brother) were shown around expertly by museum manager Carlos Eduardo Morales, also a political science professor at Simon Bolivar University in Caracas.
I know something about African music and instruments, having studied and played a few of them at times, but mostly I know a spectacular display when I see one.
There is also a research center and coffee shop at the museum. In 2012, a new addition several times as big as the present salon will be completed next door, and many more pieces from the foundation’s collection will be on display.
Carlos told me I had the distinction of being the first gringo to visit the museum and the first gringo to sign the guestbook.