University of Pittsburgh
October 26, 2010

Art History and Black Studies Professor to Present Lecture Nov. 4 on Fifth-Generation Wood Carver Whose Work Is Featured in Pitt’s African Heritage Nationality Room

Amherst professor Rowland Abiodun’s lecture is titled “The Itinerant Artist as Explorer in Yoruba Culture”
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH— Rowland Abiodun, John C. Newton Professor of Art History and Black Studies at Amherst College, will give a free public lecture at the University of Pittsburgh at 4 p.m. Nov. 4 in the Frick Fine Arts Building, Room 202, 650 Schenley Dr., Oakland. 

The lecture, titled “The Itinerant Artist as Explorer in Yoruba Culture,” is a memorial for Lamidi Fakeye, a fifth-generation traditional Yoruba/Nigerian carver whose work is featured in the entry door, chalkboard doors, and podium of Pitt’s African Heritage Classroom, one of 27 Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning. The room was designed by Pitt history professor Laurence Glasco and dedicated in 1989. 

Prior to the lecture, the African Heritage Classroom committee will perform a “going home” libation ceremony in honor of Fakeye. Abiodun will discuss the intellectual transformation of the traditional Yoruba artist and their role as an agent of both change and continuity in African society. 

Abiodun’s primary research interests are the history, style, and aesthetics of African art, particularly art of the Yoruba of West Africa. A contributor of many articles to scholarly journals and chapters in books on African art, Abiodun coauthored Yoruba: Nine Centuries of Africa Art and Thought (Abrams, 1989), Yoruba Art and Aesthetics (Center for African Art and the Rietberg Museum, 1991), and Cloth Only Wears to Shreds: Yoruba Textiles and Photographs From the Ulli Beier Collection (Amherst College, 2004); he also edited The Yoruba Artist: New Theoretical Perspectives on African Art (Smithsonian, 1994). 

Abiodun has lectured extensively in the United States, Africa, and Europe. This lecture is cosponsored by Pitt’s Departments of the History of Art and Architecture, History, and Religious Studies, as well as the African Heritage Classroom Committee.