Yoruba woodcarver Lamidi Ọlọnade Fakẹyẹ are shown alongside sculptures by both his masters and apprentices, offering a greater understanding of not only his own art, but of the traditions surrounding the Yoruba master/apprentice relationship. Nearly 100 carvings by Lamidi, his two masters, and his apprentices are on display.
Lamidi Ọlọnade Fakẹyẹ was born in Nigeria in 1928. He was from a family of woodcarvers and received his earliest training from his father. Typically, a son did not apprentice to his father, but in many ways Lamidi’s career would be unique. After learning the basics of his craft, Lamidi studied with Bamidele Arowoogun, and honed his skills carving pieces for Catholic missions. He also had the opportunity to copy many of the best carvings in Africa as commissions for the British colonial government. A Muslim, Lamidi was rare in his willingness to carve both Christian and traditional African religious subjects. American educators brought Lamidi to the U.S. as a visiting artist, and he would return many times during his career. He became a university professor in Nigeria, allowing him to carve and teach until his death in 2009.
Muskegon Museum of Art Website