With a curatorial department devoted solely to African art since 2001, and a curatorial position endowed by Fred and Rita Richman, the High's collection has grown to encompass the dynamic diversity of African art forms from ancient to contemporary.

The heart of the collection includes sculptures from west and central Africa created between 1850 and 1950, including a Baga sculpture from Guinea gifted in 1953 by Helena Rubenstein.

Other significant gifts include more than 450 works from Fred and Rita Richman that form the core of the African collection. Major gifts from Dr. Bernard and Patricia Wagner starting in 2005 spotlight Yoruba art, including masks, figurative sculpture, beadwork, metalwork and ceramic arts.