The Walt Disney Company donated a 525-piece collection of mainly West African traditional art on 29 September 2005 to the Smithsonian Institution, with the works to go to the National Museum of African Art. The collection has art from 75 different African peoples and 20 countries.
The collection was originally acquired during the 1960s and 70s by the late New York real estate developer Paul Tishman and his wife Ruth. It was sold to Disney in 1984 and had been made available to the public through loans and special exhibitions. It was also used as inspiration for the movie and stage musical The Lion King.
The National Museum of African Art holds the largest public collection of African art in the United States, and the Walt Disney-Tishman collection complements the existing museum holdings which are more representative of Central Africa.