Outdoor Mural by Jimoh Buraimoh

This file appears in: Benin Museum

Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
When Yoruba artist Jimoh Buraimoh (b. 1943) created this mosaic for the Benin Museum in 1976, he had already attained international fame. He initially worked as an electrician for Duro Ladipo’s theatre group, but took part in a 1964 workshop led by British artist Georgina Beier at the Mbari Mbayo club at Oshogbo, Nigeria. Buraimoh began making mosaic tables and pictures that employed beads rather than pigment, branching out into multiple mediums. He became one of the first generation of Oshogbo contemporary artists, whose work was popularized by Ulli Beier and gained worldwide patronage.

His mural commissions stand in many venues, such as Lagos’s Ikoyi Hotel, the University of Ibadan’s Institute of African Studies, Ife’s Ori Olokun Centre, the Lagos State House and Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

The Benin Museum mural employs Buraimoh’s signature abstract style to depict the Oba of Benin surrounded by courtiers. The Oba himself appears to be the monarch on the throne at the time, Oba Akenzua, for he is wearing his signature round spectacles. Some of the figures, however, draw upon centuries-old history. The shield-bearers at right are Buraimoh’s reworking of warriors on the 16th-century Benin brass palace plaques.

This file appears in: Benin Museum
Benin Museum
By Kathy Curnow
Benin City’s National Museum was, in 1944, the second museum to be established in the country, under the auspices of Oba Akenzua II. He first hosted a collection of antiquities in the palace, some of which had been uncovered during 20th-century…