On Display in the Walled City: Nigeria at the British Empire Exhibition, 1924–1925, features 38 objects from the Fowler’s famed Wellcome Collection, acquired from the Nigerian Pavilion during the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley, 1924–1925. Approximately 20 Nigerian men and women were invited to participate as artists in the exhibition, which showcased British wealth and supremacy while simultaneously stimulating trade with and among its various colonies. The artists’ families lived in the Walled City, where the Nigerian Pavilion was located, and demonstrated their crafts daily to visitors. The Fowler’s presentation includes a model of the royal altar for Oba Ovonramwen from the Kingdom of Benin; various ritual and domestic objects made by Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani, and Kanuri artists; and entry doors, carved on site, from the homes where artists lived. On Display in the Walled City gives the Fowler an opportunity to share some of the research it is doing on its Wellcome Collection (donated to the museum in 1965 by the Wellcome Trust in London) and to offer new insights into the colonial enterprise in Nigeria.
This exhibition is organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA and is curated by Erica P. Jones, Associate Curator of African Arts.