Smithsonian Collections

Music Lesson

Image for Music Lesson
Data Source
National Museum of African Art
Limited Edition Variable 1/20
Label Text
The first half of the twentieth century gave rise to widespread experimentation with new media by Africa’s artists. Many of Nigeria’s artists, for example, explored new techniques, including oil painting and printmaking. As elsewhere on the continent, some of these artists received training at local and international art schools, while others were taught in community workshops offered by expatriate artists.
Modern African artwork addressed a range of subject matter, from political concerns of the day to depictions of a rapidly transforming landscape due to social and environmental changes.
A major artistic transformation occurred in Oshogbo, a Yoruba town in western Nigeria, in the early 1960s. Expatriates Susanne Wenger, Ulli Beier and Georgina Beier introduced new techniques and materials to Yoruba artists and urged them to find their own forms of expression. The workshops focused on printmaking but were intended to help participants learn to support themselves as artists.
Tunde Odunlade is a second-generation artist of the Oshogbo school. Like many of his peers, he practices in a diverse set of mediums such as painting, batik, print-making, hand-made paper and fiber work. Though he is most known for his intricate and highly-textured batiks that reflect upon Yoruba traditional adire cloth dying, his print-making, as seen here, reflects similar multi-layered aesthetics of Yoruba art and culture, drawing on modern and traditional daily life in Nigeria.
This 1992 limited edition work, Music Lesson, was printed in 2012 and is from the Decades of Printmaking series, hand-picked by the artist--himself a musician--over a four decade span of creativity.
One of seven (7) hand-colored prints of varying sizes from the artist’s Decades of Printmaking series, this print features a seated musician on a black and checkered, likely nighttime, background with many human faces inside of their head.
Tunde Odunlade, 1992 to 2012
Michael Imbimbo, San Antonio, 2012
Published References
Odunlade, Tunde. 2012. Four Decades of Printmaking. Exhibition brochure. San Antonio: Stone Metal Press.
Tunde Odunlade, born 1954, Nigeria
1992, printed 2012
Credit Line
Gift of Michael Imbimbo, Inc.
Linocut on paper
Sheet: 76.1 x 55.8 cm (29 15/16 x 21 15/16 in.) Image: 61 x 45.9 cm (24 x 18 1/16 in.)
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National Museum of African Art Collection
Object number
musical instrument
Restrictions & Rights
© 1992 Tunde Odunlade