Open the door of a seemingly normal New York apartment and the unwary visitor is transported to another world. Tribal drums jostle for space with forbidding statues and flamboyant masks. Eric Edwards, a retired phone company executive born and bred in Brooklyn, has spent 44 years amassing an astonishing African art collection. Friends thought he was crazy but now he plans to put the whole exotic, chaotic collection on public display. ‘Most people thought I was totally out of my mind for spending so much money on these things,’ he says from a tiny sofa, hemmed in by art from all 54 countries in Africa crammed floor to ceiling in his duplex. Visitors tread a narrow path from door to kitchen, careful not to knock over any ancient Nubian relics or ceremonial drums. ‘I just had this huge love of African art, because it was not just about the art. It was about me,’ Edwards said. His interest was sparked by his Barbadian father, who sought to counter racism in New York by

Read More: New York’s Eric Edwards, who owns a $10 million collection, works to open African art museum