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Michael Cardew in Nigeria: Can we Complete his Autobiography from his Diaries?

Date : 2010-12-08 15:34:49

DescriptionIt takes a nerve to stand in front of an audience of people many of whom knew Michael Cardew well and are potters themselves, since I am not a potter, not a writer on ceramics and I never knew Michael Cardew – although I am beginning to suffer from the delusion that I did. I have approached him from the other side – from a strong and longstanding interest in Nigeria, and West Africa generally, and in the history which has linked this country with Nigeria, taken so many British people to Nigeria and brought so many Nigerians here. There are also of course several people here who worked with Cardew in Nigeria – Peter and Diane Stichbury, Peter Dick and above all Michael O’Brien, whose knowledge of this subject certainly exceeds mine. He does not however want to spend his time researching and editing so he has instead kindly supported me in the project (briefly described in the title of this talk). I am very much in the middle of it with research still to do, so I hope when we get to discussion time other people will answer the questions I cannot. Before I explain further, I’d like to mention an event this spring which supported me in the feeling that it is time for a re-statement and re-evaluation of what Michael Cardew did in West Africa, especially at Abuja. This was the opening of the new African Galleries at the British Museum – probably the event which has focused more London media attention on African culture than anything since the Africa 95 season. Of course the exhibits themselves are not new to the British Museum, but they were previously on display at the old Museum of Mankind in Burlington Gardens and they have been inaccessible for some time. Now they are all under the main museum roof.

Name of InstitutionMichael Cardew in Nigeria: Can we Complete his Autobiography from his Diaries?

Author(s) NameKristen Patin

Added/Updated byKristen Patin

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