African Jew Museum – Jacksonville, Florida - Atlas Obscura

A pharmacist by profession, Phillip Brown moved to Jacksonville in the 1970s and, while operating a pharmacy, began collecting art in his spare time. Eventually, this art collection superseded the pharmacy, and he began focusing on buying, selling and, sometimes, making art full-time.

The focus of his gallery has evolved over time. It began as a more traditional collection of pieces he enjoyed, with an emphasis on the “spirit” or spiritualism of a piece. As time went on, he became enamored with the idea of the 13th tribe of Israel and its significance and history in Africa.

Eventually, this growing fasciantion with the blending of Jewish and African peoples led to a refocusing of this gallery as a collection of works documenting and celebrating the history of the Jewish people in Africa. The museum’s work includes clothing, carvings, masks, tools, jewelry, paintings, and books from a variety of locations and times across Africa. 

Know Before You Go

The museum is open from 2-5PM every Tuesday. To schedule a visit at a different time, contact Mr. Brown at his website by phone or email.

Parking can be difficult so be prepared to park on a side street or risk towing in one of the dirt parking lots near the museum.

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June 17, 2024

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