Art Teacher to the Pioneers, Clara Etso Ugbodaga-Ngu

Clara Etso Ugbodaga-Ngu (1921-1996), painter, sculptor, textile artist and art educator, was renowned for being the first Nigerian art lecturer at the Nigerian College of Art, Science and Technology, Zaria in the 1950s—at the time Bruce Onobrakpeya, Yusuf Grillo, Uche Okeke, Demas Nwoko et al., were students. Ngu, like Aina Onabolu, started teaching in mission schools before going to study art in England. Also, her artworks, especially her terracotta sculptures, secured her a place among the pioneers of Nigerian art. The National Gallery of Art, Lagos has her terracotta sculpture, Ona, and painting, The Turning Point, in its permanent collection.

Unfortunately, not much attention has been given to Ngu in art literature, but …

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Adekemi is a lawyer and writer with a passion for the arts, particularly African art history. She is dedicated to discovering and documenting the most excellent artworks of our time. Follow her on Twitter at adekemitweets.
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