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ART AND THE POWER OF GOODNESS_A Collection of John Agyekum Kufuor
There is a strong correlation between art and power and in this book, Ivor Agyeman-Duah, a cultural and literary historian, looks at it from the art collection of the former President of Ghana- John Agyekum Kufuor. From a matrilineal household in Kumasi that is connected to the visual and palace art in the ancient imperial Kingdom of Ashanti, Kufuor travelled the world from Oxford into the pantheon of great personages and power. Along the way, whether in villages in Ethiopia or among the Maasai in Kenya, across the Maghreb into Morocco, infatuation with the Persia classical period, Ottoman or Asia Minor’s remains of modern day Turkey, northern Lebanon and parts of Greater Asia, some of these acquisitions came by way of gifts and purchases. They reflect family life and belief, ancient trade relations and routes as well as patterns of contemporary geo-politics. It could be through Benin bronze sculpture with facial stratifications or of metal smelted Malian Islamic crusaders on horseback or a herdsman from a Sahel water well. These works, seventy of which form the basis of this book with few external ones, include resistance art in the fashion of the ‘empire fights back’ against British West African colonial conflict engagements and resultant Independence.