Monday 23 November 2020

Museum Opening of the Year


The Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art (YSMA) at Pan-Atlantic University on the Lekki peninsula, two hours’ drive east of Lagos, opened last year as the latest of a wave of privately funded institutions across Africa that in the past five years have transformed the museum sector on the continent. The Yoruba prince Yemisi Shyllon – the country’s foremost art collector – donated $1.7m towards its establishment and 15 years of maintenance, along with 1,000 works from his collection. Together with the university’s own holdings, and donations from contemporary Nigerian artists, Shyllon’s gift means that the museum boasts one of the most impressive permanent collections in Nigeria – ranging from contemporary West African artists such as El Anatsui to historic sculptures, with particularly rich holdings of Nigerian modernists such as Bruce Onobrakpeya and Uche Okeke – housed in a smart red-concrete building with some 1,200 sq m gallery space, designed by the Spanish-Nigerian architect Jess Castellote, the museum’s inaugural director

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