Carving of a European official, by Bamgboye

British Museum

British Museum

This carving depicts Kenneth Robertson, an Education Officer in Nigeria in the 1930s. It was made by Bamgboye (late 1890s-1978), a well-known Yoruba sculptor from Odo-Owa in the Ilorin province of northern Nigeria. Bamgboye's artistry was recognised by the British administration and he was appointed Instructor in Carving at the government school at Omu. His work suffered, however, because the job demanded a focus on technique rather than allowing him to develop his own creativity.Europeans established colonies in Africa that required a range of European officials: educators, administrators, traders and policemen, often with their wives and children. Yoruba artists represented these powerful 'outsiders' by focusing on their most characteristic features and by including emblems of hierarchy and status.

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  • Title: Carving of a European official, by Bamgboye
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 31.00cm; Width: 11.00cm; Depth: 14.00cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: carved
  • Registration number: Af1966,05.1
  • Place: Found/Acquired Ilorin
  • Peoples: Made by Yoruba
  • Other information: Cultural rights may apply.
  • Material: wood
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Robertson, Eileen E
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