Actor Bill Cosby is set to loan officials at The Smithsonian his African-American art collection for a new exhibit.

The impressive haul, which features works from artists including Beauford Delaney, Faith Ringgold and Jacob Lawrence, will be part of the Conversations: African and African-American Artworks in Dialogue exhibition, which will launch at The Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. in November (14), as part of the prestigious venue's 50th anniversary.

A statement from Cosby reads: "It's so important to show art by African-American artists in this exhibition.

"To me, it's a way for people to see what exists and to give voice to many of these artists who were silenced for so long, some of whom will speak no more."

Museum director Johnnetta Betsch Cole adds, "The exhibition will encourage all of us to draw from the creativity that is Africa, to recognise the shared history that inextricably links Africa and the African diaspora and to seek the common threads that weave our stories together."