Capturing the Dawn of a New Age: On Glover’s Changing Times

In 1934, the American painter, poet and designer, Florine Stettheimer, designed the set and the costumes for the production of Virgil Thomson’s iconic opera, Four Saints in Three acts, with cellophane! At the time, cellophane was a novel material that had been invented in 1912 and was at the height of its popularity. While Stettheimer is remembered for her Cathedral series, her depiction of the frivolous life led by the elites (she was one of them) during the depression era and recently, an auction record of $375,000 for her Floral Still Life painting, she is celebrated for the innovative use of cellophane in her designs.

In the same modernist spirit, Ghanaian artist, Ablade Glover introduces into his acclaimed market scenes an accessory that can be considered the symbol of the communication age: the mobile phone.

The octogenarian started painting these market scenes in the 1970s, and, along with his other works, they have been widely exhibited in Africa, Europe, Japan and the United States. In May 2014, one of the market scenes achieved an auction record of ₤15,000 at the Africa Now Auction in London. Another, Market Queens, was top of auction at the Terra Kulture Mydrim Gallery’s Lagos Art Auction 2016. And his Market Profile (2013) is part of the illustrious Tiroche DeLeon Collection, Jaffa, Israel.

In Glover’s continuing resolve to capture the tempo of the ever-changing market as he’d promised, Changing Times brings us the familiar bustling market place with the market women, still brightly attired and elegant, but now, striding into the future with their mobile phones. When asked to name his best work, during an interview (, 2012), he’d said “I don’t know, I’m still working. Maybe in time, years to come… That will be for posterity to judge, not me.” He’s totally right.

Just as Stettheimer inadvertently recorded the period of cellophane’s popularity, I can’t but wonder if, Glover in Changing Times has captured, for posterity, the dawn of the mobile technology revolution in Africa.

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.


  1. Artstrings Africa
    11th October 2017

    Thank you, Tony. I appreciate your support.

  2. Artstrings Africa
    11th October 2017

    Thank you. I appreciate your encouraging words.

  3. Mojisola Eyo
    10th October 2017

    Great piece! Thank you for this. Please keep up the great work

  4. Artstrings Africa
    5th October 2017

    Thanks a million, Tomi. I hope to keep wowing you!

  5. Artstrings Africa
    5th October 2017

    Thanks, Sofir.

  6. Artstrings Africa
    5th October 2017

    Thank you very much, sir.

  7. Ololade
    5th October 2017


  8. Omonigba Sofir
    5th October 2017


  9. Tomi Esan
    5th October 2017

    I am just so impressed that this blog is different from what we are used to. Well done. Great piece.

  10. Anthony Usoro
    4th October 2017

    Now we will no longer be held back by the danger of a single story. Our very own art assessment. Telling it from the African perspective. Nice one.

  11. Artstrings Africa
    1st October 2017

    Thanks, Maurice.

  12. Artstrings Africa
    1st October 2017

    Coming from a highly esteemed editor, this is high praise indeed. Thank you very much, sir.

  13. Artstrings Africa
    30th September 2017

    Thank you, Dumebi.

  14. Maurice
    30th September 2017

    Awesome!!! …great concept.

  15. Martins Oloja
    30th September 2017

    Really, this is a difference maker. There are too many Blogs of the same genre… This is unique. Kudos. Will follow you since it is artful. I won’t be an artful dodger….

  16. Dumebi
    30th September 2017

    Beautiful piece

  17. Artstrings Africa
    30th September 2017

    Many Thanks. Glad you like the story.

  18. Artstrings Africa
    30th September 2017

    Thank you, Folarin.

  19. Air-though-sir
    30th September 2017

    Nice work and beautiful story

    29th September 2017

    Very good initiative. Keep up the good works.

  21. Artstrings Africa
    29th September 2017

    Thanks a million, Tayo. Expect another post next week.

  22. Tayo
    29th September 2017

    An illuminating, enjoyable read. Well done! Next please…

  23. Artstrings Africa
    28th September 2017

    Thanks, Ayei. I hope you’ll write for Artstrings one of these days.

  24. Artstrings Africa
    28th September 2017

    Thanks, Olola.

  25. Ayei Ogwo
    28th September 2017

    This is great! I have always been interested in the simple story behind art pieces. Simply told,yet educative. Love.

  26. Olols
    27th September 2017


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