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African Art: Subject Headings

This guide will help you locate resources on African art.

Search Term Suggestions

Search Term Suggestions


  • Art - African, West
  • Art, African - History
  • Art, African - 20th century
  • Arts, African

For a Narrower search try

  •  African and Oceanic art
  •  African masks
  •  Apartheid art
  • Art, African - Mali (country name)
  • Art, African - Ohio - Toledo
  • Ethnic art - Africa, Sub-Saharan
  • Makonde carvings
  • Modernism (Art) - African influences
  • Rock art in Africa
  • Sculpture, African
  • Stone art in Africa
  • Tribal art



Seated Couple, 16th–19th century

Seated Couple, 16th–19th century
Mali; Dogon peoples
Wood, metal

H. 28 3/4 in. (73 cm)
Gift of Lester Wunderman, 1977 (1977.394.15)

"Seated Couple [Mali; Dogon peoples] (1977.394.15)". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.

(October 2006)

General Search Strategies

Searching in the OPAL catalog for your topic:  

SUBJECT AND KEYWORD searches are not the same. The catalog uses controlled vocabularies for subjects. Keywords are natural language. If you find an appropriate book using a keyword find similar books by searching the same subject headings.

A CONTROLLED VOCABULARY like Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) helps ensure the same topics are described using a formalized terminology. The terms are based on broad and narrow topics. Other controlled vocabularies include: Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), or LC subject headings for children's literature.

SEARCH TIPS  on the catalog page explain combining words for the most efficient way to find what you need. Or, look at the help link to decide how to search.

MARKING RECORDS enables you to save to a list then print or email a selected group of items.

A BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD  in the online catalog will give important information including the title, author, publisher, publication date, subject headings and the Dewey decimal call number. 

THE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM is a classification scheme used to organize books. Other libraries may use the Library of Congress Classification System.