African Art Collector Seeks Funding to Open Museum in Bed-Stuy

June 15, 2015 | Prachi Gupta

Over the past 44 years, Eric Edwards has acquired over 2,500 pieces of art from every country in Africa, dating back 4,000 years. Now, he wants to give what he touts as “one of the largest African artifacts collections in the United States” a permanent home in the Cultural Museum of African Art.

Edwards is seeking $35,000 in funding via Kickstarter to move forward with the museum, which will be designed by Rodney Leon, the architect behind the UN’s Slave Trade Memorial and the African Burial Ground Monument. The museum will be located in Bed-Stuy, potentially at 375 Stuyvesant Avenue, according to Gothamist, which is “a Renaissance Revival mansion on the corner of Decatur Street in Bed-Stuy” that was once owned by the gynecologist who delivered Malcolm X’s daughters.

Edwards has reportedly acquired a charter and non-profit status, but is now looking to finalize the space, the designs, and secure funding for a wide range of expenses, including two exhibitions, salaries for a publicist and assistant, and appraiser fees.