A public African Art collection in the US that had stayed under my radar, but does have quite some gems in it, is located at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. You can explore it here.
The museum especially benefited from a large donation by Candis and Helmut Stern of mostly Congolese art in 2005. In 2014, through a $1.5 million gift, the Sterns also helped create a new curatorial position at UMMA: the Helmut and Candis Stern Associate Curator of African Art (info), now held by Laura De Becker – a fellow Belgian! De Becker is currently working on a reinstallation and doubling of the Museum’s space dedicated to African art, a project called “I Write To You About Africa” – read more about this exciting prospect here; it is scheduled to open somewhere this year.
Unibrow Vili nail figure (nkisi nkondi). Image courtesy of the UMMA, Gift of Candis and Helmut Stern, #2005/1.192)