The Southern University Museum of Art (SUMAS) is a compact gallery that features a selection of artwork put together from the university’s collections and from private donations. SUMAS has a remarkable collection of African art and artifacts and African American art representing centuries of art evolution. It is a must-see for all visitors to downtown Shreveport.
The African art exhibit is comprised of two major collections—The Southern University System President Dr. Leon R. Tarver, II Collection and the Dr. William Bertrand Collection.
The two collections feature works from the major art-producing regions of Africa including Mali, Nigeria, the Ivory Coast of West Africa, Cameroon, and the Congo. In all, there are over 300 artifacts—ceremonial masks, statues, fabric, utensils, and more.
The exhibit has featured a "Gbekre Monkey Figure" from the Baoule people of the Ivory Coast, an Ekoi Head Crest with two braided horns, a clay Boli (four-legged buffalo) from the Bamana people of Mali, and jewelry from the Bertrand Collection of artifacts from the Congo. Each artifact is unique and has a functional use in the culture of the country of its origin.
African American Art
The museum also features African American art from the extensive collection of the Southern University Museum of Art in Baton Rouge. This includes the works of Shreveport's own Bernard Swim, Keisha Knoxx, and Larry Holston, as well as other Louisiana artists.