The Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbarahas contributed approximately 950 images of African art, architecture, and culture from the archives of Herbert Cole to the Artstor Digital Library.

Cole is a noted art historian specializing in African art, whose personal collection of slides is currently housed in the Department of History of Art and Architecture’s Visual Resources Collection. The collection in Artstor consists of Cole’s field photography, which depicts African art, architecture, sites, and culture from Nigeria, Ghana, the Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, and Kenya. African objects from private collections around the world are also included.

Herbert “Skip” Cole is Emeritus Professor of Art History in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at the University of California, Santa Barbara, following a 35-year teaching career. He received his M.A. (1964) and Ph.D. (1968) from Columbia University. While Cole’s scholarship focuses on African art, with field research in southeastern Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Cote d’Ivoire, his teaching also encompassed African-American, Native American, Oceanic, and Indonesian art. He is author, co-author and/or editor of many books on African arts and 60+ essays and articles. He organized more than a dozen exhibitions of African art at UCLA, UCSB, LACMA, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, collaborating with students on some.

In 2001 Cole received a Leadership Award from the Arts Council of the African Studies Association, a lifetime achievement honor. For many years, as Kofi Cole, he has carved miniature works of African art.