ENWONWU Benedict Chukwukadibia






||Ben Enwonwu: Graphic Artist, Painter, Sculptor||

Birth: July 14, 1921, in Onitsha, Anambra State.

Training: Learned carving from his father, a sculptor; studied under Kenneth C. Murray at Government Colleges, Ibadan and Umuahia, 1934-1937; attended Goldsmith College, London, 1944; Ruskin College, Oxford, 1944-1946; Slade School of Fine Arts, London, 1946-1948, graduating with first class honors; postgraduate courses in anthropology and ethnography, University of California, USA and Louisiana State College, Baton Rouge, USA.

Profile: From 1939, Art teacher in various schools, including Government College, Umuahia, and at mission schools in Calabar Province, 1940-1941; at Edo College, Benin City, 1941-1943; Art adviser to the Nigerian government, from 1948; during the next several years, toured and lectured in the United States, 1950 and executed many commissions as a freelance artist; editor, Nigeria Magazine, 1966; fellow, Lagos University, Lagos, 1966-1968; cultural advisor to the Nigerian government, 1968-1971; visiting artist, Institute of African Studies, Howard University, Washington, DC; appointed first professor of fine arts, University of Ife, Ile-Ife, 1971-1975; art consultant to the International Secretariat, Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC), Lagos, 1977; executed portraits of Nigerians as private commissions; illustrated Amos Tutuola's The Brave African Huntress; maintains a studio in London; Fellow, Royal Anthropological Institute, London.

Member: Royal Academy of Art, London.

Bronze statue, "Queen Elizabeth II," Fountain Square, Lagos, 1959.

Cast figures, "Four Winged Evangelists," All Saints Anglican Cathedral, Onitsha, 1959.

Throne on which Queen Elizabeth sat to proclaim Nigeria's Independence, Lagos, 1960.

Stone statue, "Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe," 1960.

Sculpture, wood, iroko, "The Risen Christ," Chapel of the Resurrection, University College, Ibadan, 1961.

Wood sculptures, Daily Mirror Building, London, 1961.

Bronze statue, "Anyanwu, The Awakening," United Nations, New York, USA, 1961.

Sculpture, "Boy Reading Book," Idi Araba dormitory, University of Lagos, Lagos.

Portrait, Dr. Benneh Balme, first Vice-Chancellor, University of Ghana, Legon.

Portrait, Dr. Kenneth Mellanby, first Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

Sculptures, door panels and chair, House of Representatives, Lagos.

Sculpture, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare.

Sculpture, "Sango," National Electric Power Authority, Lagos.

Statue, "Drummer," Nigerian External Telecommunications Building, Lagos.

Bronze portrait, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Onitsha.

Door, Chapel of the Apostolic Delegate, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Ceramic mural, Nigerian Ports Authority, Marina, Lagos.

Sculpture, "Three Musicians," Broadcasting House, Lagos.

Awards & Honors

IBM bronze medal and prize, IBM art collection, San Francisco, USA, 1939;

Shell Company of West Africa scholarship, 1944;

Medal of the British Empire, 1954;

R. B. Bennett Empire Art Prize, Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1957;

Commonwealth Certificate, Royal Institute of Art, Commerce and Agriculture, London;

DLitt (Honorary), Ahamdu Bello University, 1969;

National Order of Merit, 1980;

Fellow, Asele Institute, Nimo, 1985.

Nigerian artists : a who's who and bibliography by Kelly, Bernice M; Stanley,

Janet Smithsonian Institution - National Museum of African Art Published 1993

1934: Attends St Patrick's School, Ibusa and later Government College, Ibadan under Kenneth C. Murray, Education Officer in charge of Art Education in the colonial civil service and later Director of Antiquities. Leaves with Kenneth Murray for Government College, Umuahia where he spends the next five years


University of Southern California "He studied Fine Arts at the Government Colleges in Ibadan and Umuahia under teacher and archaeologist Kenneth C. Murray; the two would evolve into a mentor-mentee pair, with Enwonwu later becoming his assistant."


Ben Enwonwu attended GCI

The Nigerian Nostalgia Project - Government College, Ibadan


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