Among the items in the storage rooms of the head office of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board in Accra are extremely valuable works by some of the nation’s cherished pioneer painters.
A selection from the lot, spanning pieces done between 1940 and 1990, will be shown to the public from Wednesday, December 17 in an exhibition dubbed Paintings: Our Heritage, Our Pride.
To be held in the main gallery at the Ghana Museums head office, the exhibition will be in place for three months and will contain 33 works by 16 artists.
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They are Kofi Antubam, E.V. Asihene, Kobina Bucknor, Amon Kotei, A.O. Bartimeus, J.C.O. Okyere, E. Owusu Dartey and Emmanuel Addo Osafo.
The rest are Philip Amonoo, F.O. Gyampo, Grace Salome Kwami, J.D. Okae, K. Wiafe Debrah, Ato Delaquis, E.L. Asa Anakwa and Ablade Glover.
Attractions at the opening event would include a live painting session by Ablade Glover and a talk on Ghanaian art history by Prof. Kojo Fosu.
The GMMB’s Executive Director, Zagba Oyortey in a chat with Daily Graphic, said key reasons for the exhibition include sharing some of the great pioneering Ghanaian paintings owned by the museum with the world, and also inspiring a new generation of painters.
“We house the memory of the nation and we want students of art who may have probably only seen some of the paintings in books to come to the exhibition. The more we let people know what we have, the better.
“Without allowing people to come and interact with us, we would be failing in our mission to protect the heritage of the nation,” the GMMB boss stated.
The artists in the exhibition were inspired by different topics and also executed their works through a variety of techniques.
Paintings owned by Ghana Museums were donated by sponsors of exhibitions and sometimes by the artists themselves. The state also commissioned specific works from some artists.
“What we want the public to know is that art is an important medium of development,” said the GMMB’s Chief Technician, John Addai.
“We want as many people as possible to patronise the exhibition as a way of rekindling the Ghanaian appreciation of paintings.”
Mrs Akosuah Saah Buckman, a Senior Curator, also said an exhibition by more contemporary artists would be held after the upcoming one by pioneer painters.