Augustus (Gus) Casely-Hayford, a curator, historian and filmmaker who focuses on African culture, has been appointed director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art.

Casely-Hayford succeeds Johnnetta Cole, who retired in March after leading the museum for eight years. He starts Feb. 5.

The London native expressed his excitement about joining the Smithsonian and working with the museum’s 12,000-piece collection.

“It represents Africa in ways that no collection does. There is nowhere else on Earth that can show that story with equivalent visual eloquence,” he said. “I have a profound sense of wonder and love of Africa, and this job offers me an opportunity on the biggest stage to reciprocate for all it’s done for me.” Read more