Modern Nigerian Pottery: A Study of Historical Developments Since 1904


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Fine & Applied Arts


This study investigates the history of modern pottery in Nigeria in the twentieth Century. Using archival sources, library research, studio visits, and in-depth interviews, the study examines the history of the colonial pottery schemes in Nigeria, beginning 1904 in Ibadan, as well as the ways by which Kenneth Murray and other educationists developed pottery through arts and crafts lessons in schools in the colonial period. It also investigates the work of Michael Cardew at the Pottery Training Centre, Abuja, and provides knowledge on the history of other less known colonial and postcolonial pottery officers and pottery training centres and on the emergence of ceramic industries and art schools from the 1950s. The study also examines the work of contemporary potters in Ghana (where Michael Cardew first worked in the 1940s) and in Nigeria to demonstrate the perceived continuity and change of Cardew’s influence on the studio-pottery practices in both countries.